Rankin is seen as the finest solo guitarist in New Orleans by many, a purveyor of delicate instrumentals despite his 6’ 5” frame. An eclectic performer, he enjoys mixing classical, ragtime, gypsy, blues, folk, caribbean, funk,and New Orleans traditional jazz, New Orleans R & B, and originals, with meticulous fingerstyle guitar arrangements.
This is his third CD in series, all different: (Guitar Gumbo (2002) is mostly solo New Orleans guitar (with three vocals); Fess’ Mess (2005) mostly vocal New Orleans singer songwriter; now a mostly original (10 out of 14 pieces) all instrumental guitar CD.
The title song is a tribute to the weekends of Jazz Fest, and is based on rhythms he learned there from South African bands. He has been featured for 25 years as a solo performer at the fairgrounds since 1981.
Rankin has designed this recording around his guitar playing, and the CD cover around a particular guitar of his, a 70’s custom guitar by Kim Griffin that he found in a pawn shop in Pensacola years ago, that has replaced several other guitars in his stable. “It has a unique sound, like a cross between the trbles of a Martin and the thumpy bass of an old Gibson flat top. I’ve never played another guitar like it. It’s very thin and light, and consequently fragile, especially in my big hands!”
Rankin says of this new CD, "It is stylistically diverse, with Scottish, Brazilian, Caribbean, Balinesian, and New Orleans influences; I sometimes describe it as acoustic jazz, or acoustic/world/folk/jazz with a New Orleans flavor. As crazy as that sounds, it holds together very well. My engineer Misha and I edited until we were completely satisfied. That meant throwing out completed works, cutting solos, rerecording pieces, etc. until it made sense as a whole."