Tinsley Ellis – Midnight Blue

Tinsley Ellis – Midnight Blue
Heartfixer Music – HFM 1011
If the lead track “If The River Keeps Rising“ from legendary Atlanta bluesman Tinsley Ellis does not get its claws deep into you, you better check your pulse. The honest emotion on this smoky, swampy more traditional song shows you right out of the gate that fourteen albums into his storied career, Tinsley has not forgotten what the blues is all about. “Mouth Turn Dry” is a more uptempo shuffle with a wicked stomping guitar hook and gritty organ backdrop. “See No Harm” is a bare bones juke-joint ballad that perhaps best exemplifies Tinsley’s prodigious vocal and guitar prowess, backed with some wonderful piano work. His songwriting versatility is on display throughout the ten tracks; from the rocking “Harder to Find” with touches of psychedelia and a potent, burbling rhythm; to the down and dirty shuffle of “The Only Thing”; to the soul bearing mellow but nonetheless intense groove of “Kiss Of Death.” The lyrics range from heartbreakingly honest to tongue-in-cheek humor, and sometimes is just plain old good storytelling from first hand experience. In the fourth decade of his career, it would be too cliche to say Tinsley Ellis still has something in the tank. With “Midnight Blue,” Tinsley shows that his tank is full, and he has his foot on the accelerator with no pretenses of slowing down. And that is very good news for his fans and fans of the more recent bluesmasters’ generation.  – MW



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