With his speak/singing and low, rumbly voice, Ronny Elliott sounds like Johnny Cash in a profound, existential funk, spinning his fractured, literary tales atop some hell-bent, warped form of Americana. The foreboding "Loser's Lullaby" is punctuated by low, searing blasts of electric guitar and pretty weeps of pedal steel. The tuneful "Wrong Side" is about as close to pop as Elliott can get, with gospel-like backing vocals. Meanwhile, in the affecting and highly personal "Last One Standing," Elliott stares down rock & roll history with only his acoustic guitar to bolster the narrative. Criminally overlooked singer/songwriter Elliott is a music veteran who has been plowing the same rugged, poetic furrows as folks like Guy Clark and Billy Joe Shaver in recent years, and this a lyrically daring album littered with characters both strange and familiar.
by Erik Hage