elliott ranney

elliott ranney


"Acoustic Music like an Island Breeze," best describes the groove of Elliott Ranney. He plays finger style classical guitar with vocals similar to Michael Franks/James Taylor. The sound is a jazz/folk concoction that is mellow yet engaging.


Elliott Ranney is a singer/songwriter composing jazz/folk – pop influence music. He has found success in playing wineries and coffee houses in the Missouri-Illinois region. He is often joined by his talented wife Ellen Ranney who co-writes with Elliott, and close friend, Latin percussionist – Patrick Rodriguez. Pat and Elliott began playing music in 1981 after meeting at their ten year high school reunion: Kirkwood High – class of ’71.

Elliott incorporates cover tunes and originals into his stage show. He has an eclectic song list, material arranged for his smooth vocal stylings and guitar work. It’s not a juke box offering, but songs by recognized artists not often heard, much less performed.

What makes Ranney’s sound unique is his approach to finger style classical guitar. He has a broad vocabulary of and jazz and altered chords. He first learned rudimentary finger picking from a PBS guitar course offered by local, Channel 9 in St. Louis, MO. during the late 1960’s. Picking up on Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell’s approach, he synced the folk/pop technique into his early writing style. Learning jazz guitar at St. Petersburg Jr. College has led Ranney into swing, Latin and a sort of Bop Nuveau with the concentration of juxtaposing dense chord/note clusters to create tension/resolution. The music flows from one concept/key sense into another and it somehow works.
There is a sense of each chord resolving into the next creating a perpetual motion effect that feels like an unending hook. They’re just pretty melodies that are mellow and engaging.

Elliott’s lyric writing has been influenced by Michael Franks, James Taylor and Paul Simon. Lyric writing has been the most challenging. Lately, Elliott has given the “creative writing” assignments to his wife Ellen, and together “tweeze”(1) the stories to fit the music.

Elliott’s tag line is: Acoustic music like an Island Breeze.

(1) Tweeze – Frank Zappa coined the word to describe how he rehearsed an orchestra prior to performing his symphonic compositions.


Sailing Through

Written By: Elliott Ranney

A song is floating just beyond the midnight of a dream.
I'm piped aboard to guide the helm in the time I fall asleep.
The melody is taking me through visions far away.
As I sail on through another day.

Rhythms of a distant world pull me into a trance.
Mermaids rise out of the surf in a strange erotic dance.
Loving hands caress my face, cool my fevered brain.
As I sail on through another day.

I've been sailing, sailing through another day.
I've been sailing, maybe I could find the way, if I had only left yesterday.

Struggling through my day I stumble down a rugged path.
Weary of the corporate clime, exhausted I collapse
An Island Breeze reviving me, palm trees gently sway.
As I sail on through another day.

I've been sailing, sailing through another day
I've been sailing, may I could find the way.
I've been sailing, sailing through another day
I've been sailing, maybe I could find the way.
I've been sailing, I've been sailing
I've been sailing, I've been sailing

I've been sailing through another day
To an Island where the palm trees sway.

Becoming The Sun

Written By: Elliott Ranney

Now that we've fallen in love
I know how a kiss can burn
If capture's part of the fun
to surrender would be only absurd
Warm and soft is your voice
Under the palm tree shade
I can offer a choice
There are many games we can play

Can you see our love glow
Like daybreak through a window
How can we not grow as one
Becoming The Sun.

In the dance we've begun
To the Samba we twist and turn
Laughter trips off your tongue
Yet I stumble over your every word
Cold and hard is the night
Home is so far away
With a smile you invite,
Perhaps, again I will stay.

Can you see our love glow
Like daybreak through a window
How can we not grow as one
Becoming The Sun.

Vamp out


An Aging Sailor's Dream cd released 2001 Wildstone Audio. Here's a list of tracks that have gotten air play around the world:
A good Life
Ellen Claire
Sailing Through - Neo Pangea's indie film : Townies

Set List

I don't have a specific set list that I strictly follow. I start out all my shows with:
Waltz For Indira: Tony Rice (instrumental)
Sunny Skies: James Taylor

I then just pick songs I feel like doing. In that way I never do the same show. So here's a made up set from my collection of songs, after the two above titles.
An Aging Sailor's Dream: Elliott Ranney
Down In Brazil: Michael Franks
Punky's Dilemma: Paul Simon
Dairy Queen: Norman Greenbaum
Summer's Here: James Taylor
San Tropez: Roger Waters/Pink Floyd
Summer Samba: jazz standard
Pencil Thin Mustache: Jimmy Buffet
A Good Life: Elliott Ranney
Guitar Etude #3: Dan Fogelberg
April Come She Will: Simon & Garfunkle
Innervoice:Elliott Ranney(instrumental)
Chain Reaction: Joe Sample/Michael Franks
Pearl of The Quarter:Walter Becker/Donald Fagen
Together: Elliott & Ellen Ranney
Music Box in A
Curve of Her Smile:Elliott Ranney
Anji: Davey Graham
Ain't Misbehavin: Fats Waller
Only a Fool: Becker/Fagen
Old Tennessee