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While traveling and playing “global music” with Matuto, Ross noticed that “no one (was) representing this music of South Carolina on a global scale in this way,” he told the Charleston Post and Courier.
A lot of the success of this bubbly, yet dark number goes to Clarkson's reverberating vocals and how seamlessly they meld to the effervescent back beats.
“I’m not interested in dressing up in plantation clothes to make a point,” says in Charleston Scene.
“This is about having very contemporary arrangements of songs that celebrate a culture that didn’t used to be able to celebrate itself.” The cultural impact of the Gullah music on American music “is undeniable,” the band says on its Kickstarter page, yet, “unless you’ve lived here, or you’re a scholar of African-American studies, few outside the Southeast really know about Gullah,” Singleton says. That’s a food.’” Ranky Tanky’s set list intertwines research including early field recordings of such artists as Bessie Jones, John Davis and Laura Rivers; band members’ memories of growing up in the Lowcountry hearing its oral traditional music; the syncopation and swing of legends like Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Maynard Ferguson; and modern jazz, blues and folk – all with a sense of playfulness, emotion and often spiritual intensity.
So, does having a world class, legendary bassist from a completely alternate musical universe do wonders for Clarkson in 2007?
Well let's just say that Watt dwells in the background, lurking subtlety behind a growling, angry Clarkson who goes for full throttle rock as opposed to shiny, happy pop.