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Ranky Tanky at Lone Tree Arts Center show preview 

Ranky Tanky @ Lone Tree Arts Center, Friday, April 26, 8 p.m.,10075 Commons St., Lone Tree, $25-$45, lonetreeartscenter.org, 720/509-1000.
  • Ranky Tanky @ Lone Tree Arts Center, Friday, April 26, 8 p.m.,10075 Commons St., Lone Tree, $25-$45, lonetreeartscenter.org, 720/509-1000.

While “O Death” was written by an Appalachian preacher nearly a century ago, the South Carolina quintet Ranky Tanky’s rendition draws upon a much different musical palette without losing any of the song’s timeless poignance. “O Death walked up to the sinner’s gate, said believe you have waited now a little too late,” laments Quiana Parler with a subdued soulfulness that’s matched by the solemnity of Charlton Singleton’s trumpet.

Other tracks on the band’s self-titled 2017 debut — which reached No. 1 on the Billboard jazz album chart — are considerably more joyful, as befits a band whose name means “work it” or “get down.” Like their name, Ranky Tanky’s music is heavily inspired by Gullah, a West African-influenced culture that originated among slaves on the South Carolina sea islands from which Singleton’s family hails. Prior to Parler coming onboard as lead vocalist, Singleton and his bandmates — guitarist Clay Ross, drummer Quentin Baxter and bassist Kevin Hamilton — played together around Charleston as The Gradual Lean, whose largely instrumental repertoire ranged from jazz standards like “Autumn Leaves” to the gospel hymn “Wade on the Water.”

Today, their contemporary take on ancestral traditions is clearly reaching for something larger, both in scope and spirit. And by all indications, they’re well on their way to achieving it.

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