Work in progress

Running with Ravens

Ryan Ravenelle and Grant Runacres are Running with Ravens, a "progressive acoustic" duo.

Ryan Ravenelle and Grant Runacres are Running with Ravens, a "progressive acoustic" duo.

Photo/Eric Marks

For more information, visit

When scrolling through the list of local bands under the “Alternative” section of ReverbNation, what makes one photoshopped band logo stand out from the rest? What is it that drives someone to risk clicking the play button, knowing that anyone can upload whatever noise they’ve made onto this platform?

“Pay attention to that innate signal inside of you, whether it’s to start that restaurant you’ve always wanted, to sign up for that 10k run, or pick up that paintbrush you haven’t touched since you were in college,” wrote Grant Runacres in a recent email. “Toss out the mundane and be what you dream.”

Running With Ravens is a local duo that plays progressive acoustic music, which means two guys who know their way around their instrument. Runacres and guitarist Ryan Ravenelle seem like the kind of dudes who could be entertaining with just a couple of guitars in a living room or backyard barbecue. However, their radio friendly sound won’t alienate discriminating music geeks. Running With Ravens displays a casual virtuosity in their acoustic guitar sound that even wins the respect of dexterous metal shredders.

Running With Ravens’ lyrics sound like they were written during a warm summer that peaked in a series of revelations made while taking mushrooms at a Dave Matthews Band concert. With song titles like “Illusions of Control” and “F(am)(i)ly,” dorm-room philosophy and youthful idealism abound in their self-recorded EP.

“Overall, we probably spent a cool 500 hours writing, recording and producing this album ourselves,” wrote Runacres. “We wanted nothing shy of a clean, warm and listener-friendly album that we could professionally network with and have people listen to without feeling like they were hearing something that was very obviously recorded in a garage.”

To this end, Running With Ravens’ demo serves its purpose. It has been embraced by members of the ReverbNation community, with some gushing: “Exceptional job, guys, look forward to hearing more.” And other, less enthusiastic members stating, “The music was thin and not very pumped up. This is just a demo and that by a wannabe who needs to get more into it.”

As any modern musician understands, navigating the internet provides unique challenges and rewards. In their struggle to create something memorable, Runacres and Ravenelle landed on the band name Running With Ravens—a twist on both their last names.

“For months, we tried to muster up a name that would encapsulate our sound as well as resonate with our potential future listeners and tie in with our somewhat unique last names,” said Runacres.

“The raven as a symbol also had some cool allure to it, so the name stuck,” added Ravenelle.

Running With Ravens is new to the Reno music community, although Runacres has been involved in a number of Northern Nevada bands over the years. His technical prowess and soloing ability were showcased in a metal band called Bloodlust Revenge. Echoes of this brazen style are still evident in his work with Running With Ravens, in spite of the band’s laid-back vibe.

Runacres and Ravenelle consider themselves perfectionists, and as a result are fully committed to Running With Ravens as an all-encompassing creative outlet. Their goals include establishing a presence in the local area, continuing to write and record music, growing as both recording and performing artists, and playing gigs with different artists in town. Those who know Running With Ravens only by their studio sound might be surprised by the band’s live set, which they describe as “eruptive” and “volcanic.”