Here’s a tune I wrote in honor of my friends Byron and Melissa Elliott of Austin, TX. Byron and Melissa are fantastic patrons of the arts, and have done a great deal for ragtime and the music that I love.
In June 2011, Bryan Wright and I were asked to perform at Byron’s mother’s birthday party in Hayden Lake, ID. We had a terrific time, and were treated like members of the Elliott family. I wanted to find an appropriate way to commemorate the happy occasion and, knowing how much Byron loves ragtime, decided that I would write a piece and dedicate it to him. The resulting piece, strangely, is one of the least syncopated pieces I’ve ever composed, but it’s got some lovely bits, a pleasing melody, and some complex voicing of which I’m very proud.
The piece is named after a drink that Byron’s grandfather invented. It is called “The Elliott Special,” and in the words of the grandfather, “One’s not quite enough, two are way too many!” The country club at Hayden Lake knows how to make it – that’s where the grandfather invented it, after all – but I’ve not tried it yet! The recipe is a closely guarded family secret, although I’m happy to say that in return for this piece, Byron made me an honorary Elliott and I will be able to concoct my own “Elliott Special” here soon…
Recorded August 30, 2011