blues guitar...non-stop gigging has sharpened his six-string to
a razor's edge...his eloquence dazzles...he achieves pyrotechnics
that rival Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.” -Rolling Stone
Hard-rocking blues-soaked guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Tinsley
Ellis will celebrate the release of his new Alligator CD, MOMENT
OF TRUTH, with a live performance in St. Louis. GuitarOne calls
the Atlanta-born Ellis, “a Southern blues-rocker with monstrous
guitar chops.” The CD is Ellis’ first studio album since
returning to Alligator, and is the most guitar driven and lyrically
expressive recording of his career. Performance information is as
Sunday, October 28th:
Broadway Oyster Bar
736 S. Broadway
St. Louis, MO
Produced by Ellis, MOMENT OF TRUTH captures all the power and energy
of his legendary live performances. His vocals reach new heights
of soulfulness and expressiveness; his guitar playing is ferocious
and relentless, but, when the mood calls for it, gentle and moving.
But what really sets the album apart is the depth of Ellis’
songwriting. The material deals in matters both personal and universal
and runs the gamut of human emotions. MOMENT OF TRUTH is Ellis’
most wide-ranging and inspired recording.
in Atlanta in 1957, Ellis grew up in southern Florida and first
played guitar at age eight. He found the blues through the backdoor
of the British Invasion bands like The Yardbirds, The Animals, Cream,
and The Rolling Stones. He especially loved the Kings – Freddie,
B.B. and Albert – and spent hours immersing himself in their
music. His love for the blues solidified when he was 14. At a B.B.
King performance, Tinsley sat mesmerized in the front row. When
B.B. broke a string on Lucille, he changed it without missing a
beat, and handed the broken string to Ellis. After the show, B.B.
came out and talked with fans, further impressing Tinsley with his
warmth and down-to-earth attitude. By now Tinsley’s fate was
sealed; he had to become a blues guitarist. And yes, he still has
an accomplished teenaged musician, Ellis left Florida and returned
to Atlanta in 1975. He soon joined the Alley Cats, a gritty blues
band that included Preston Hubbard (of Fabulous Thunderbirds fame).
In 1981, along with veteran blues singer and harpist Chicago Bob
Nelson, Tinsley formed The Heartfixers, a group that would become
Atlanta’s top-drawing blues band. After cutting Cool On It
and Tore Up with The Heartfixers, Ellis was ready to head out on
his own. He sent a copy of the master tape for his solo debut to
Bruce Iglauer at Alligator Records. “I had heard Cool On It,"
recalls Iglauer, “and I was amazed. I hadn't heard Tinsley
before, but he played like the guys with huge international reputations.
It wasn't just his raw power; it was his taste and maturity that
got to me. It had the power of rock but felt like the blues. I knew
I wanted to hear more of this guy.”
BLUE, Tinsley’s first Alligator release, hit an unprepared
public by surprise in 1988. Critics and fans quickly agreed that
a new and original guitar hero had emerged. Before long, Alligator
arranged to reissue COOL ON IT and TORE UP, thus exposing Tinsley’s
blistering earlier music to a growing fan base. Tinsley’s
next releases, 1989’s FANNING THE FLAMES, 1992’s TROUBLE
TIME, 1994’s STORM WARNING and 1997’s FIRE IT UP (produced
by the legendary Tom Dowd), solidified Ellis’ reputation as
a guitar hero with depth and substance.
2005 return to Alligator (after short stints with Capricorn and
Telarc Records), the searing guitar-fueled LIVE-HIGHWAYMAN, was
the live recording his fans had been demanding for years. Recorded
at a packed club just outside Chicago, the CD takes Ellis’
extended soloing and heartfelt vocals to staggering heights. The
Chicago Tribune said, “Incendiary live performances, inspired,
original and funky.”