Kenny Rankin

Versions | Down The Backstairs of My Life

Posted on Updated on

Soul and groove musicians William D. Smith and Eric Mercury composed the song Down The Backstairs (of My Life) which they both recorded separately in their albums.  Smith (aka Smitty) would record the song in his A Good Feelin’ album in 1976 while Mercury would included it in his self-titled 1975 album, originally released in Toronto.    Sadly these albums have become particularly rare even on iTunes.
The song was covered by Joey Scarbury in the album America’s Greatest Hero.  Although the best version in Teki’s opinion is Kenny Rankin‘s.  The track was included in his album After The Roses.  This version has a fuller orchestration and elevates the melancholia associated with the song with a kind of hopeful plea.  A nice song as this new year has started and as one has tiptoed in the background of our lives. Read the rest of this entry »

Artist Pick: Kenny Rankin

Posted on Updated on

Kenny Rankin had the voice and the guitar prowess that made him  such an elegant and sophisticated singer, session musician and songwriter. His crossover jazz style interpretation of standards music brought a fresher perspective to some of the Beatles songs as well as covers of artists such as Stephen Bishop, The Rascals and even Curtis Mayfield.
He was such an underrated singer but his contemporaries acknowledged his silent genius.  His music exudes a kind of purity without the trappings of indulgent musical affectations.  His music comes out fresh, unblemished from commercial pretensions – it then elevates to an art.  

Read the rest of this entry »