Rick Elias, Founding Member of Rich Mullins' A Ragamuffin Band, Dies

rick elias

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist, producer and Ragamuffin Rick Elias passed away April 2, 2019 in Nashville after a several month long battle with brain cancer.  Rick Elias had been diagnosed with glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer.

"Today, Rick Elias lost his battle with cancer but won life everlasting as a child of God. Our hearts are heavy but also filled to the brim with memories of our dear friend. Each of us benefited by the light that Rick shone through the cracks of our own lives and for that we will be forever grateful. Pray for Linda and the entire family as they grieve the loss of a husband and father. Rick was an artist and a man of faith."   

In 1990, Elias signed to Alarma Records, which released his Christian rock album as Rick Elias and the Confessions, a band which also included Intravaia and Sale. Their single "Confession of Love" peaked at number four on the national Christian Top 40 chart as published in Contemporary Christian Music magazine.

From 1993 to 2002, Elias was a founding member of Rich Mullins' A Ragamuffin Band. The band continued to record and tour with Mullins, and even carried on after his 1997 death. The group's name is derived from Brennan Manning's 1990 book The Ragamuffin Gospel, which defines ragamuffins as "the burdened, the wobbly and weak-kneed, the inconsistent, unsteady disciples... the smart people who know they are stupid... the honest disciples who admit they are scalawags". 

Elias later wrote songs for the Tom Hanks film That Thing You Do (in which he appeared as a player in the Playtone Orchestra), as well as for Dawson's Creekand My Big Fat Greek Wedding. He released several contemporary Christian CDs on his own and as a founding member of the Ragamuffins band, formed by the late Rich Mullins in the early '90s and extant from 1993 to 2002.

In the studio, Elias also produced records by artists such as Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, and Aaron Neville, as well as writing two songs for Bob Carlisle's chart topping album Butterfly Kisses (Shades of Grace). 


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