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08/24/2017
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Ranky Tanky opens Black Box Series in Athens, Tenn.

Athens Area Council for the Arts is opening its 2017-2018 Black Box Concert Series with a quintet from the South Carolina Low Country that grooves to Gullah.

Ranky Tanky celebrates the Gullah culture of the Low Country. Loosely translated, Ranky Tanky means "work it" or "get funky" in Gullah — and that's just what Ranky Tanky does. They update the timeless game songs, work songs and spirituals of the Gullahs with trumpet and rhythm section to make them rock.

Hear their unique sound on Friday, Aug. 25, at 7:30 p.m. when Ranky Tanky performs at the Arts Center in Athens, Tenn.

The group's frontwoman is vocalist Quiana Parler, who made it to the top 30 on Season 2 of "American Idol." She is backed by Quentin Baxter, drums; Clay Ross, guitar, vocals; and Charlton Singleton, trumpet, vocals.

Ranky Tanky's music is protecting a musical legacy that is being lost as the Gullah are displaced by new development along the sea islands of Georgia and South Carolina.

Last year, Ranky Tanky raised $14,000 in a Kickstarter campaign to record songs and make videos. An album from those recordings is scheduled to be released in mid-September.