The soulful songs of the Gullah culture are brought to life by this band of native South Carolinians who mix low country traditions with large doses of jazz, gospel, funk, and rhythm and blues. Ranky Tanky released their eponymous debut on Oct. 20th, 2017. By December of that year, the group had 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 the Charleston, South Carolina 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 are “rank” and fertile ground from which these contemporary artists are grateful to have grown.