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Rich Rankin

I'm a Chicago based music producer, engineer, writer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist. My unique style comes from an eclectic taste and a blend of formal and self-education.


I have collaborated in many different ways with a diverse collection of artists including Laura Doherty, Charming Axe, Curious Grace and Black Rabbit, Bryan Lubeck, Camila Ballario, Linda Marie Smith, Jimmi Steinkraus, Linda Robertson, Gayle Bisesi, Crawford's Daughter, John Joyce, Alewife, Wendy and DB (vocal arranging on 2023 Grammy nominated album "Into the Blue House"), Reggio McLaughlin and Kym Franklin. I've done work for labels Old Town School Recordings, Striking Note and Rimjhim Records. For Mosaic Music I have scored and produced award winning ad music, audio branding, sound design and also music for indie films. I work from a private project studio and other premiere studios hand selected based on project needs. I have decades of professional experience writing, playing, recording, mixing and producing music.


Early on I was self-taught on guitar, bass, keys and drums, and later attended Northern Illinois University to study psychology and then Elmhurst College earning a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Music Business. Studies there included music history, theory, orchestration, classical guitar and percussion. I was also co-founder of a student-run recording studio.


In addition to producing and performing I write American roots based songs and have tracks and scores placed in films The Legend of Bloody Mary (Lionsgate), Carpe Diem (indie), and If I Only Knew (indie). I use Phil Jones Bass amps live and in the studio and am a Weber Mandolin "People Who Play" artist.


As often as possible, I perform live with my artists and bands; sitting in with kids music groups, Americana groups and doing un-plugged originals and covers. I perform regularly in Laura Doherty's band The Heartbeats, having played a couple of years at Lollapalooza in Chicago, the Ravinia Festival and the Pilgrimage Music Fest in Franklin TN. I've also performed with Ralph Covert, Jazzy Ash, Jimmi Steinkraus and the Rockin' Aces, John Joyce, Anna Ferman, Miss Ann and Poochamungas. In my spare time I might be found squeezing my vintage Cellini accordion or sliding around on my 1950's Oahu Tonemaster lap steel guitar. I'm also a photographer specializing in portraits of inspired people. I enjoy mentoring students and am pretty nearly done renovating my 1880's home.

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