© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Thanks To The British Invasion, We Have Blazing Guitar From Tinsley Ellis

courtesy of the artist

"Ellis unleashed a torrent of dazzling musicianship pitched somewhere between the exhilarating volatility of rock and roll and the melancholic passion of urban blues." -- Los Angeles Times

The paper was talking about Tinsley Ellis and they weren't alone in being impressed. I'm impressed and so was Rolling Stone.

"Feral blues guitar... non-stop gigging has sharpened his six-string to a razor's edge... his eloquence dazzles... he achieves pyrotechnics that rival Beck and Clapton." -- Rolling Stone

Tinsley Ellis is very proud to be Southern, having been born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1957 and raised in Southern Florida. He started playing guitar at age 8, impressed by the British Invasion artists like Cream, The Animals, The Yardbirds, and The Rolling Stones. Hence the Rolling Stone magazine comparison to Beck and Clapton is more than appropriate.

Ellis' full immersion into the Blues came after seeing B. B. King in concert. At that show, King broke a string and handed it to Ellis. He still has that string. Ellis still likes the big three Blues kings of B. B., Albert and Freddy.

Tinsley Ellis started performing with a band while attending Emory University and soon after, started playing professionally in a band with bassist Preston Hubbard of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. From1981 until 1988 he played in a group called The Heartfixers before going solo with his first album, Georgia Blue, released in 1988.

Ellis has released more than a dozen albums since, most recently on his own label, named for that earlier band, The Heartfixers. It's good fortune for Blues fans that Tinsley Ellis has played more than 150 shows per year and has appeared in all 50 states plus Canada, Europe, Australia and South America. Those shows truly deliver. Guitar Player said he plays, "…as if his life depended on it."

So I'm not the only one who considers Tinsley Ellis a must see.

Related Content