Ranky Tanky, Charleston's popular Gullah music group, made its national television debut with a performance on the "Today" show at 9 a.m. Friday.
This comes just one week after Kathie Lee Gifford and Al Roker from the "Today" show were in the Lowcountry covering the Charleston Wine + Food Festival. It's obvious that Charleston has been on their minds.
Roker, who said he found out about Ranky Tanky in Charleston's Garden & Gun magazine, introduced the band on "Today." They proceeded to talk more about how the Carolina Coast's Gullah culture has shaped their sound.
"There's definitely a heart beat rhythm that's still there," said trumpet player Charlton Singleton before the band performed "Freedom" in the Artist's Lounge.
Ranky Tanky, which features Singleton, Quiana Parler, Quentin Baxter, Kevin Hamilton and Clay Ross, blends gospel, R&B, jazz, soul and other eclectic influences.
In 2017, the band's debut full-length self-titled disc climbed the Billboard charts, ranking at No. 4 on the iTunes jazz charts and within the Top 10 jazz albums on Amazon. Then, a few months later, it hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts for jazz album and contemporary jazz album, along with reaching those same ranks on iTunes and Amazon.
Last year, the band performed during the Spoleto Festival USA at the Cistern Yard. They also played with Bobby McFerrin at the Gaillard during the fifth annual Charleston Jazz Festival this January.
Ranky Tanky will perform at this year's High Water Festival in North Charleston's Riverfront Park alongside artists such as The Head and the Heart, Leon Bridges, Jenny Lewis and Shovels & Rope.