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Album Review

There is a natural flow to Ronny Elliott's songs, an easy combination of talking and singing that works like a campfire tale. Unlike a tale around a campfire, however, Elliott relies on full-band arrangements on Jalopypaint. While frequent comparisons to Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle make sense, Elliott's off-the-cuff style and sense of humor also remind one of Butch Hancock and Terry Allen. Elliott's rustic pipes work best on laid-back, talky songs like "When the Showbands Played Coleraine" and lazy ones like "Secrets to the Grave." His deep vocals have also reminded reviewers of Johnny Cash, and he certainly sounds close enough to Cash at the beginning of "Great Train Robbery." The latter song tells the story of Jesse James, and the overall arrangement is bolstered by fine harmony accompaniment, placing a higher vocal above Elliott's deeper tone. "Born at Night" includes tasteful arrangements that create an open, though never empty, space around the vocal. Jalopypaint, as even the name suggests, is no more the kind of album that fits easily into a category than Elliott is the kind of singer who one can tag "alt-country" or "Texas singer/songwriter." While this may make him and his music difficult to market, it also delivers a product that never sounds like a "product." For old fans, and anyone looking for an authentic musical experience, Jalopypaint fits the bill. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Born: 1947 in Birmingham, AL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

An insurgent country singer/songwriter in the vein of Guy Clark or Townes Van Zandt, Tampa native Ronny Elliott had been a working musician for over 30 years before he released his solo debut. Elliott's wandering muse swings from acerbic fare like "South by So What?" (from 1999's Ronny Elliott), which slams the revered music industry fête, to politically charged tracks like "Letter From a Birmingham Jail" (from 2001's Poisonville) to a rumination on Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen's co-dependent self-destruction...
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Jalopypaint, Ronny Elliott
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