Mike Elliott (guitarist)

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Mike Elliott
Born May 18, 1940
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died September 14, 2005
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1960s–1980s
Associated acts Natural Life

Mike Elliott was an American jazz guitarist.

Elliott was born in Chicago and raised in Colorado, where he studied guitar with Johnny Smith. His father was a studio musician and his mother a blues singer. He learned guitar at a young age and was playing professionally by the time he was sixteen. He formed his own jazz group and in 1964 was on the road. He moved to Minneapolis in 1966, and in the seventies he helped found the jazz fusion group Natural Life, which included saxophonist Bob Rockwell, bassist Billy Peterson, pianist Bobby Peterson, and drummers Bill Berg and Eric Kamau Gravatt.[1]

In the 1980s, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and became manager of Gibson Professional Musical Services. He held clinics with Les Paul, Howard Roberts, and Elliot Easton. His other roles included session work, engineering, producing, arranging, and songwriting. He remained in Nashville until 1998. He worked with profile artists such as Johnny Cash, playing on his Johnny Cash Is Coming to Town album, Chubby Checker, Emmylou Harris, Trisha Yearwood and Joe Diffie.[1] Other artists he worked with were Earl Klugh, Vic Damone, Steve Earle, Crystal Gayle, and Tennessee Ernie Ford.[2] He also co wrote a song that appeared on John Anderson's triple-platinum selling album Seminole Wind. In 1996 he received the NAIRD award for his work as an engineer on Steve Earle's Grammy-nominated album Train a Comin.[1]

He died on September 14, 2005. There is now a Mike Elliott scholarship award for excellence in guitar.[3]


  • Atrio (Celebration, 1974)
  • City Traffic (ASI, 1977)
  • Solo Guitar (Celebration, 1981)[4]
  • Diffusion (Celebration/Pausa)[4][5]

With Natural Life

  • Natural Life (Asi/Celebration, 1977)
  • Unnamed Land (Celebration,


New Music (ASI, 1977)


  1. ^ a b c Front Page News – Guitarist Mike Elliott Dies at Age 65
  2. ^ "Mike Elliott Biography". Archived from the original on October 31, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  3. ^ McNally Smith College of Music
  4. ^ a b "Minneapolis Tribune". Archived from the original on September 10, 2001. Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  5. ^ "Mike Elliott Quotes & Reviews". Archived from the original on November 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  6. ^ "Mike Elliott (2)". Discogs. Retrieved 25 March 2017.