Ronny Elliott applauded in No Depression

Since launching his solo career (with backing by The Nationals) a decade ago, Tampa's Ronny Elliott has garnered glowing reviews from across the globe in publications like Billboard and Rolling Stone Germany. His 2005 release Valentine Roadkill landed in venerable British music mag Mojo's Top 10 Americana albums of the year. The publication also profiled Elliott, noting that his "story-telling songs are as brutally honest as his attitude to his career is cavalier."

Elliott released Jalopypaint last month and I four-starred it here in the Jan. 9 issue of Creative Loafing. Other publications have also taken notice. The album ranked No. 16 No. 5 in the year-end tally of No Depression contributing editor Joe Nick Patoski — but was removed from didn't make the final list, probably since the disc officially came out in 2008. Or maybe No Depression founders Grant Alden and Peter Blackstock made an executive decision to ax the selection based on their past experiences with Elliott.

UPDATED Jan. 31: See Blackstock's comment posted below.

The most widely read mag devoted to alt-country (full disclosure: I've written for them), its editors were famously embarrassed several years ago by Elliott's song "South by So What." A send-up of the annual South By Southwest music conference held in Austin, Texas, it includes the zinger: "Those jerks from No Depression are an arrogant bunch." Elliott wrote the lyric following an unpleasant meeting with Alden and Blackstock in Austin. Robbie Fulks called it the "singularly most suicidal line" he had heard, reported Mojo.

Elliott performs Saturday at Dave's Aqua Lounge in St. Petersburg as part of One For the Road 3. The concert will raise funds for local artists like Elliott scheduled to perform in March at Florida Bandango, a showcase organized by WMNF music director Flee that takes place in Austin the afternoon before the official start of SXSW. Chances are, Alden and Blackstock are on the guest list. An alcohol-fueled confrontation between No Depression's editors and Elliott would be priceless.

In related news, a review of Jalopypaint ran last week in the Santa Fe New Mexican:

Here's another ace album by one of the free world's most unjustly overlooked songwriters. As usual, this Tampa, Florida, roots-rocker fills the disc with wonderful story songs dealing with his heroes, a few villains, and objects of his lust. There's lots of history, a little politics, and plenty of brooding about his life and career.

Click here (and scroll down) to read the rest of the review.

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