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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

East Coast Icon Jimmy Rankin Releases 8th Solo Album 'Harvest Highway' & Returns Home To Tour

By Stevie Connor.

On Harvest Highway, Jimmy Rankin hits the road again, time traveling and traversing far-flung destinations—along with his native Nova Scotia, of course—through his singular brand of East Coast folk-rock. The Cape Breton icon’s eighth solo album is rich in the narrative songwriting traditions that Rankin has been honing for nearly his whole life, filled with crackling yarns and poignant chronicles about feverish marriages in Thunder Bay, unmoored Newfoundlanders, lovers on the run, and fallen soldiers in France. Bookended by songs about home, the collection roams a trajectory not so different from Rankin’s life, with narrators who relish in adventure while also feeling a yearning for the homeland from which they first pulled their roots up. It finds Rankin at the height of his songwriting powers. “I’ve been working toward this album for my entire career,” he says.

Teaming up with fellow East Coast hero Joel Plaskett—who produced and played multiple instruments on Harvest Highway—Rankin established the earthy, down-home sound that serves his latest records so well, taking full advantage of Plaskett’s analog approach at Fang Recording in Dartmouth.

Recorded to tape with vintage mics, the expertise of engineer Thomas Stajcer, and contributions from studio session all-stars JP Cormier, Ron Hynes, Dale Murray, Jordan Murphy, and Madison Violet, Harvest Highway’s organic feel comes from its almost entirely live-off-the-floor takes, along with Rankin and Plaskett’s combined love for classic production. Paired with Rankin’s masterful and evocative songwriting about place and purpose, the album’s warm, lived-in sound will resonate with anyone who’s ever left their home behind.

“I’ve traveled around the world and I’ve lived in other places, and I think like a lot of East Coasters, I feel a profound connection to the place,” Rankin says. “People really feel they need to come back here. It’s where they’re from, after all. It’s where their roots are.”

His reputation as a compelling writer and hitmaker spills into his solo work as well, and he’s been a chart fixture since his 2001 debut album Song Dog, racking up awards for songs like “Followed Her Around,” “Midnight Angel,” “Morning Bound Train,” “Slipping Away,” and “Here In My Heart.” With his solo and family band work, Jimmy has thus far earned five JUNO Awards, seven Canadian Country Music Awards, and a staggering 27 East Coast Music Awards.


Oct 26 - New Glasgow, NS - Pictou Wellness Centre

Oct 27 - Summerside, PEI - Harbourfront Centre

Nov 16 - Fredericton, NB - Fredericton Playhouse

Nov 17 - Miramichi, NB - Carrefour Beausoleil

Nov 18 - Moncton, NB - Capitol Theatre

Nov 19 - Richibucto, NB - Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 30

Nov 29 - Truro, NS - Marigold Cultural Centre

Dec 2 - Glace Bay, NS - Savoy Theatre



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