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Heather Rankin explores influences on solo effort

New Glasgow News 

Amanda Jess Published on May 08, 2016


Performing at Glasgow Square on May 11

Heather Rankin was always comfortable being a part of the group.

Being the 11th out of 12 children, the wing-man felt like a natural role, she said recently, adding that she never saw herself as a solo artist until recently.

“I waited a long time to step out of that very comfortable place with my family and do my own record,” she said, adding that it wasn’t without trepidation and led to a period of growth for her.

When she refers to her family, she, of course, means her siblings that made up the multi-platinum selling Celtic and folk group The Rankin Family.

The band received many accolades over its 10-year run, releasing five albums and touring across the country as well as in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

Heather also continued doing Christmas tours with her sisters. She was featured on several other people’s recordings, including Carly Simon, and racked up a lengthy list of theatre credits.

A solo record is a first, though with her new album A Fine Line having been released last month. 

While Celtic influences are evident in the recording, it strays from the traditional into more of a pop sound, mixed with melodies that sound reminiscent of a theatre stage.

In other words, it seems to embody many of Rankin’s influences.

When she set out to do the album, she said she wasn’t sure what direction she wanted to take and hadn’t planned on doing a lot of songwriting.

That changed when she met David Tyson, who she calls a “master of the songwriting craft” and a wonderful producer, through a mutual friend.

Rankin said it made for an interesting collaboration – her from a folk-based traditional place and Tyson involved in the pop world.

“Some of my favourite records collaborate with people from different music world.”

He encouraged her to take her time and consider writing more. They spent three years on and off working on the album in Los Angeles where she ended up writing seven out of 11 of the songs.

“I felt at this stage in my life, if I’m going to do something, I want to try something completely different,” she said.

Rankin is heading out on tour with the album, feeling confident after introducing it to fans at the East Coast Music Awards.

She’ll be at Glasgow Square on May 11 with Nova Scotian musician Kim Dunn, who also has a new recording – Inspiration – to introduce.

Tickets are $30 advance or $35 at the door.