SongVault Artist Profile
Missouri, United States
Adult Contemporary / Smooth Jazz
�Acoustic Music That Feels like an Island Breeze,� best describes the direction of Elliott Ranney. Born in 1953 to Ralph & Faye, Elliott was drawn to music early, listening to whatever was on the radio. He grew up with classical music, Gershwin, Cole Porter, and the crooners of late 1940�s � 50�s. Kindergarten in 1959 was where he first heard Rock �N Roll; all the hip girls in poodle skirts and bobby socks; the guys in ducktails and tight jeans.
In 1966 Elliott got his first guitar from Montgomery Ward, a sunburst dreadnought which gathered dust in his closet until he was invited by his next door neighbor, Steve Marlowe to join with fellow musician, Tim Wells to get together and write songs. Both Steve and Tim were advanced musicians and seemed to have great ideas for songs. The three organized under the name, The Up Tights, and changed it later to Dear Friend. Early gigs were at Eliot Unitarian Chapel in Kirkwood, Mo., where the three attended. The audience was very kind. A member of the church youth group, LRY (Liberal Religious Youth), Elliott attended a group function at a local cinema where the now classic film, The Graduate was being shown. Viewing the film with the soundtrack by Simon & Garfunkle altered this young teen�s musical state. He began learning S&G songs and to write simple progressions based on his heroes�.
Some time passed, and during a brief tour in the US Navy (1971 � Aug. �75), Elliott began writing what was to be the title track to his debut CD, �An Aging Sailor�s Dream,� released May 2001 on the Wildstone Audio label in St. Louis, MO. One of his favorite lines conjures an image of the Caribbean: �An amber sun glowing ripe is swallowed by the sea.�
Post Navy, Elliott studied music in Florida where he started to play jazz in a college guitar ensemble. Moving back to St. Louis in the late 1970�s, Elliott began to incorporate jazz figures into his music in order to widen his vocabulary and to explore a more interesting way to melodically structure his music. During his ten year high school reunion, Elliott and fellow classmate, Pat Rodriguez met and soon after formed Panacea and is still performing at coffee houses, concerts and wineries. Pat is a dynamic Latin percussionist and is one of the featured performers on Aging Sailor�s Dream.
The most important person in Elliott�s life is his wife of twenty five years, Ellen Claire. Along with their three sons, they are a family of talented musicians and songwriters. With the support of his family, Elliott is performing throughout Missouri and Illinois. Elliott has given concert performances with Brewer & Shipley, Shawn Phillips and Jonatha Brooke. The cd, An Aging Sailor�s Dream has been featured in web/radio broadcast from far flung places in Brazil, Germany, and Japan as well as USA.
�When you need to get away from the stress in the world around you, the music of Elliott Ranney is your ticket to a Tropical Vacation.� At the end of the evening, Elliott safely navigates the listener home to port, refreshed and reenergized.