|Birth name||Tinsley Ellis|
|Born||June 4, 1957|
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
|Genres||Blues rock, hard rock, southern rock|
|Labels||Alligator, Capricorn, Telarc,|
Tinsley Ellis (born June 4, 1957) is an American blues and rock musician, who was born in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, and grew up in South Florida. According to Billboard , "nobody has released more consistently excellent blues albums than Atlanta's Tinsley Ellis. He sings like a man possessed and wields a mean lead guitar."
Rolling Stone said, "On assertive originals and standards by the likes of Jimmy Reed and Junior Wells, Atlanta's Tinsley Ellis unleashes feral blues guitar. Nonstop gigging has sharpened his six-string to a razor's edge…his eloquence dazzles…he also achieves pyrotechnics that rival early Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton."
His love for electric blues grew by listening to British Invasion bands such as the Yardbirds, the Animals, Cream, and the Rolling Stones.Ellis has stated that the first guitar playing he heard were songs like "Dirty Water" by The Standells, and "Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers, but that he then "got into the real stuff" like Freddie King. Inspired by a live appearance by B.B. King, where King broke a guitar string and gave it to a 15-year-old Ellis - which Ellis claims to still have in his possession to this day - he was determined to become a blues guitarist. In 1975, he played with the Haygood Band while attending Emory University near Atlanta. Two years later, already an accomplished musician, he returned to Atlanta and joined his first professional blues band, the Alley Cats, a group that included Preston Hubbard of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Ellis graduated from Emory in 1979 with a degree in history. In 1981, he formed the Heartfixers, with the singer and harmonica player Chicago Bob Nelson. The group recorded three albums for the small Landslide record label, one with the singer, Nappy Brown before breaking up in 1988. The same year, Ellis signed a recording contract with Chicago's Alligator Records.
His debut solo album on Alligator Records, Georgia Blue, was released in 1988.It received mixed-to-poor reviews. Alligator then reissued two earlier albums, Cool On It and Tore Up (on which the Heartfixers backed Nappy Brown). Ellis' next four releases were Fanning the Flames (1989), Trouble Time (1992), Storm Warning (1994), and Fire It Up (1997). Artists including Peter Buck (of R.E.M.), Derek Trucks, and Chuck Leavell joined him in the studio. He worked with the record producers, Eddy Offord and Tom Dowd.
Ellis' reputation and media coverage continued to grow. He appeared on NBC-TV Sports during the network's 1996 Summer Olympics coverage.
Ellis shifted to Capricorn Records in 2000 and released Kingpin . In 2002 he joined Telarc Records, producing two CDs: Hell or High Water and The Hard Way . All the while Ellis never stopped touring. "A musician never got famous by staying home," Ellis says.[ citation needed ] Ellis claims to have performed live, at least once, in all 50 of the United States.[ citation needed ]
He returned to Alligator Records in 2005 with the live album, Live! Highwayman . In 2007 he released the studio album, Moment of Truth , followed in 2009 with Speak No Evil . [ citation needed ]Ellis continues to tour over 150 nights a year around the world.
He has shared stages with Warren Haynes, Widespread Panic, the Allman Brothers Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Thackery, Otis Rush, Willie Dixon, Son Seals, Koko Taylor, Albert Collins and Buddy Guy.[ citation needed ]
In early 2013, Ellis was a part of the 'Blues at the Crossroads 2' tour which celebrated the music of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. The tour also included Kim Wilson and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, James Cotton, Bob Margolin and Jody Williams.[ citation needed ]
Also in 2013, Ellis launched his own label, Heartfixer Music, and has since released several albums: the all instrumental Get It!, Midnight Blue, Tough Love and, in 2016, Red Clay Soul.
In 2014, Ellis was a guest performer on Eli Cook's album, Primitive Son .
In 2017, Ellis launched a new side project called Tinsley Ellis Blues Is Dead, in which he performs the blues and R&B songs recorded by Grateful Dead and other Fillmore era acts.[ who? ]
Commenting on Ellis's album, Ice Cream in Hell, AllMusic stated "On Ice Cream in Hell, Ellis' songwriting and singing finally match the prowess in his playing, and we are all richer for it."
During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Ellis was "determined to grow as a songwriter," according to AllMusic; he is stated to have written 200 songs in just a year and a half. The resulting album, Devil May Care, released in January 2022, was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews.
Ellis announced the pending release of a new album, Naked Truth, in November 2023. The album is scheduled to be released on February 9, 2024. Ellis released a single, "Devil In The Room", after making the announcement.
Christopher Anton Rea is an English rock and blues singer and guitarist from Middlesbrough. Known for his distinctive voice and his slide guitar playing, Rea has recorded twenty five solo albums, two of which topped the UK Chart, The Road to Hell in 1989 and its successor, Auberge, in 1991. He had already become "a major European star by the time he finally cracked the UK Top 10" with the single "The Road to Hell ".
Tommy Castro is an American blues, R&B, and rock guitarist and singer. He has been recording since the mid-1990s. His music has taken him from local stages to national and international touring. His popularity was marked by his winning the 2008 Blues Music Award for Entertainer of the Year.
Alligator Records is an American, Chicago-based independent blues record label founded by Bruce Iglauer in 1971. Iglauer was also one of the founders of the Living Blues magazine in Chicago in 1970.
Lonnie Brooks was an American blues singer and guitarist. The musicologist Robert Palmer, writing in Rolling Stone, stated, "His music is witty, soulful and ferociously energetic, brimming with novel harmonic turnarounds, committed vocals and simply astonishing guitar work." Jon Pareles, a music critic for the New York Times, wrote, "He sings in a rowdy baritone, sliding and rasping in songs that celebrate lust, fulfilled and unfulfilled; his guitar solos are pointed and unhurried, with a tone that slices cleanly across the beat. Wearing a cowboy hat, he looks like the embodiment of a good-time bluesman." Howard Reich, a music critic for the Chicago Tribune, wrote, "...the music that thundered from Brooks' instrument and voice...shook the room. His sound was so huge and delivery so ferocious as to make everything alongside him seem a little smaller."
Michelle Malone is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Born and raised in Atlanta, she started performing in bands and writing songs as a teenager. Initially, she would sign with Arista Records after performing around parts of Atlanta. Soon after, she would release an album entitled Relentless with her band Drag the River. She would also collaborate with The Harshed Mellows with the song "U.S. Blues" for the tribute album Deadicated. She would again switch labels, going to Velvel Records, but decided to found her own record company, SBS Records.
The Wood Brothers are an American roots band consisting of brothers Chris and Oliver Wood, as well as multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix. Their music is a combination of folk, gospel, blues and jazz.
Bob Margolin is an American electric blues guitarist. His nickname is Steady Rollin'.
Napoleon Brown Goodson Culp better known by his stage name Nappy Brown, was an American R&B singer. His hits include the 1955 Billboard chart No. 2 "Don't Be Angry", "Little By Little", and "Night Time Is the Right Time". His style was recognizable; Brown used a wide vibrato, melisma, and distinctive extra syllables, in particular, "li-li-li-li-li."
Howard Luedtke, also known as Howard "Guitar" Luedtke, is an American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and musician. Luedtke is considered one of the best slide guitar players in the American midwest, and currently tours with his band Howard "Guitar" Luedtke & Blue Max.
Sean Costello was an American blues musician, renowned for his fiery guitar playing and soulful singing. He released five critically acclaimed albums before his career was cut short by his sudden death from a drug overdose at the age of 28. Tinsley Ellis called him ‘the most gifted young blues guitarist on the scene... he was a triple threat on guitar, vocals and as a songwriter’.
Cephas & Wiggins was an American acoustic blues duo, composed of the guitarist John Cephas and the harmonica player Phil Wiggins. They were known for playing Piedmont blues.
Live:Highwayman is a 2005 blues album by Tinsley Ellis. It was recorded live at the Chord On Blues Blues Club in St. Charles, Illinois, by Timothy Powell for Metro Mobile Recording, mixed by Sam Fishkin and live performance location sound mixing by Ron Willhoff. It was mastered by Dan Stout and Bruce Iglauer and produced by Tinsley Ellis and Bruce Iglauer. Tinsley wrote or co-wrote seven of the songs on the album.
The Hard Way is a 2004 blues album by Tinsley Ellis. It was recorded and mixed at Stonehenge at ZAC Atlanta, Georgia, engineered and mixed by Jimmy Zumpano, mastered by Rodney Mills and produced by Tinsley Ellis with Robert Woods as executive producer. Tinsley wrote all songs except for "Still in the Game" and "Me Without You".
Hell or High Water is a 2002 blues album by Tinsley Ellis. It was recorded and mixed at Stonehenge at ZAC Atlanta, Georgia by Eddy Offord and Jimmy Zumpano, mastered by Rodney Mills and produced by Eddy Offord with Robert Woods as executive producer and Michael Rothschild as co-ordinating producer.
Trouble Time is a 1992 blues album by Tinsley Ellis. It was recorded by Mark Richardson at Triclops Sound Studios and Ricky Keller at Southern Living Studio in Atlanta, Georgia with horns recorded by Lynn Fuston at Classic Recording Nashville, Tennessee. It was mixed by Rodney Mills assisted by Russ Fowler and Tag George at Southern Tracks Studios Atlanta, Georgia, mastered by Dr. Toby Mountain at Northeastern Digital, Southborough, Massachusetts, and produced by Ricky Keller, Tinsley Ellis and Bruce Iglauer, with Michael Rothschild as executive producer. Tinsley wrote/co-wrote all songs except "Hey Hey Baby", "What Have I Done Wrong?" and "The Axe".
Speak No Evil is a 2009 blues album by Tinsley Ellis. It was recorded and mixed by Jim Z and Tony Terrebonne with Matt Pool assisting at Stonehenge at Zac Recording in Atlanta, Georgia. It was mastered by Rodney Mills at Rodney Mills Master House, Duluth, Georgia, and produced by Tinsley Ellis with Bruce Iglauer as executive producer. Tinsley wrote all of the songs on the album.
Moment of Truth is a 2007 blues album by Tinsley Ellis. It was recorded by Tony Terrebonne, mixed by Sam Fishkin, mastered by Dan Stout and produced by Tinsley Ellis with Bruce Iglauer and Tim Kolleth as executive producers. Tinsley wrote all but two of the songs.
Kevin McKendree is an American electric blues pianist, keyboardist, guitarist, singer, and songwriter. In addition to having a lengthy and varied career as a session musician, McKendree has released two solo albums.
Delta Moon is an American swamp blues, blues rock, and blues band. They originated in Inman Park, Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The group's name came to founder member, Mark Johnson, whilst on a pilgrimage to Muddy Waters' cabin near Clarksdale, Mississippi. In 2003, Delta Moon won the International Blues Challenge. They have released a number of albums on various record labels, including Low Down, which Down Beat magazine named in their "best albums of 2015".
Tore Up is an album by the American blues musician Nappy Brown, released in 1984. A comeback album, it was recorded with Tinsley Ellis and the Heartfixers. The album was reissued by Alligator Records in 1990.