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RONNY ELLIOTT

Rock 'n' blues man: That's how singer-guitarist Ronny Elliott prefers to be known.

Stats: Born in Birmingham, Ala., in 1947.

Bands on the run:Elliott began playing locally in 1964 with a garage band called the Raveons. From 1966 to 1968 he was with the "proto-psychedelic" Noah's Ark; its song Paperman earned modest residuals from Sweden and Japan. He later played with Duckbutter and Loco Siempre.

Lately:His current group, Ronny Elliott and the Nationals, features local heavyweights Steve Connelly on guitar, Walt Bucklin on bass, Jim McNealon on steel guitar, Natty Moss Bond on vocals and Harry Hayward on drums.

New CD:Jalopypaint.

ANY Events inspire IT?"Not really any in my life, but I came to a realization. I suppose that some of the dark side of humanity, especially on the part of governments around the world, reminds me that history seems to keep repeating the same mistakes. If any war makes sense, I haven't yet heard of it."

Celebrity highlights onstage:"As exciting as it has been to work onstage with idols of mine, like Chuck Berry and Gene Vincent, it has been just as thrilling to share the stage with new folks like Ramsay Midwood. There was one moment in Oklahoma a few years ago when I looked around and realized that I was standing there with Pete Seeger, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Arlo Guthrie, among others, and thought to myself, 'This doesn't happen often.' I thought, for just a minute there, that I was a folk singer."

Favorite locals:"There are lots of younger acts that I'm dying to see but haven't caught yet. I am a huge fan of Rebekah Pulley, Bunko Squad, Waterdigger, Roppongi's Ace, Lorna Bracewell, Crash Mitchell, Have Gun - Will Travel, Standback, Experimental Pilot and lots more.''

Side projects:"I finished a play last year, but we haven't found time to get it to the stage. We're working on it, though."

Home life: "Quiet, normal. My dog, Jamaica, runs the show, but we're trying to change that."

Is music his day job, too? "Yeah, this is what I do. I've done other things over the years. I've scooped mud from the hulls of barges and tried to save the world through the government, among other things. None of them worked out too well, either."

Guilty pleasure food: "Right now my answer is key lime pie."

Hear him:Monday with Ryan Bingham at the Orpheum in Ybor City. $8. The show starts at 7 p.m. (813) 248-9500.

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