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Ranky Tanky

Ranky Tanky released their eponymous debut on Oct. 20th, 2017. By December of that year, the group had been been profiled on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and their album soared to the #1 position on the Billboard, I-Tunes, and Amazon Jazz Charts.

“Gullah” comes from West African language and means “a people blessed by God.” “Ranky Tanky” translates loosely as “Work It,” or “Get Funky!” In this spirit this Charleston, SC based quintet performs timeless music of Gullah culture born in the southeastern Sea Island region of the United States. From playful game songs to ecstatic shouts, from heartbreaking spirituals to delicate lullabies, the musical roots of Charleston, SC are “rank” and fertile ground from which these contemporary artists are grateful to have grown. South Carolina natives Quentin Baxter, Kevin Hamilton, Charlton Singleton, and Clay Ross first came together in 1998, fresh out of University, to form a seminal Charleston jazz quartet

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ranky Tanky: Good Time

Read "Good Time" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Why change a winning formula? Ranky Tanky's follow-up to their hit debut album takes things further in the same vein: a heady mix of gospel and traditional Gullah songs from the Sea Islands of South Carolina, laced with original music and lyrics. The emphasis this time is on a pounding beat generated by the electric guitar ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ranky Tanky: Good Time

Read "Good Time" reviewed by John Bricker

The West African phrase Ranky Tanky roughly translates to “get funky" or “work it," according to the band's website. The band earns this title with danceable blends of gospel and jazz, celebrating the Gullah culture found in their home state of South Carolina. Although Good Time delivers more infectious energy than their self-titled debut, Ranky Tanky ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2019

Read "Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2019" reviewed by Doug Collette

Burlington Discover Jazz Festival Burlington, Vermont May 31-June 9, 2019 Prominent among the many of virtues the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival offers its hometown each year is a reminder of the energetic activity that permeates the Queen City of Vermont (and not just at this most wonderful time of the year). Witness ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ranky Tanky: Ranky Tanky

Read "Ranky Tanky" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Ranky Tanky are based in Charleston, South Carolina. They specialize in jazz-and blues-influenced arrangements of the traditional music of the Gullah people, who came from West Africa as slaves in the 19th century. They were brought to South Carolina's Low Country and Sea Islands to work on plantations where their knowledge of rice cultivation could be ...

ARTICLE: PROFILES

Ranky Tanky: African Rhythms Preserved

Read "Ranky Tanky: African Rhythms Preserved" reviewed by Martin McFie

Liberia, the West African country named for freedom, was partly financed by wealthy Americans as a haven for people who escaped enslavement. Its capital Monrovia was named for US President Monroe. The Gola (also called Gula) tribe are indigenous to the northern borderlands of Liberia with Sierra Leone. The Gola people are farmers who weave swamp ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ranky Tanky: Ranky Tanky

Read "Ranky Tanky" reviewed by James Nadal

Against all odds, the Gullah tradition prevails on the Sea Islands of South Carolina's Low Country. Maintaining their West African traditions and singular way of life for generations, their direct impact on African-American music is undeniable, and continues to be a vital source of inspiration. Combining revered Gullah kinship with a jazz sensibility, Ranky Tanky accentuates ...


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