By Donna Hopper
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Following a successful and award-studded decade in the Canadian folk forefront, siblings John Morris, Raylene, Heather, Cookie and Jimmy disbanded in 1999 to pursue separate interests.
To the public, the breakup seemed irreversible after the tragic loss of John Morris in a car wreck in 2000.
Enlisting the talents of John's daughter, Molly Rankin, the Rankins reunited and set out on a cross-Canada tour to promote their release Reunion.
The tour was dedicated to older sister Geraldine, who died of an aneurism just days before the tour's start.
With These are the Moments freshly released, Cookie, Raylene, Heather and Jimmy Rankin paid a visit to the Sault's Essar Centre last night, where 1,500 polite but appreciative fans gathered to take in the soaring melodies and celestial harmonies that won the hearts of Canadians more than 20 years ago.
Opening with the popular and fitting North Country, the evening's set list also included Movin' On, I Would, Breath (Dream Pray Love), Fare Thee Well Love, Roving Gypsy Boy, Nothing Like an Ocean, Never Alone and Hopeville.
The spirited Mairi's Wedding, during which Mac Moran jumped from behind the keys to jig for the audience, was a definite highlight.
A bit more mellow than previous Essar Centre performances, the show was steeped in grace, dignity and something loyal Rankin Family fans can be proud of.