Tinsley Ellis – Red Clay Soul

Tinsley Ellis – Red Clay Soul
Heatfixer Music – HFM1013
One of Georgia’s favorite music sons Tinsley Ellis always seems to give us something a bit different, without compromising the fact of him being one of the best blues rockers around. The Atlanta native does not disappoint in either facet with his latest effort. As the title indicates, there seems to be a bit more touch of R&B and soul in this latest effort, even though the disc launches with a tried and true smoking blues jam “All I Think About.” Songs like “Callin’” and “Hungry Women Blues” have a deeply street-smart feel to them. There is a touch of influential flavorings from fellow Georgia musicians The Allman Brothers, particularly in the rollicking boogie of “Givin’ You Up.”  Tinsley also adds a subtle Santana-like Latin influence to “Estero Noche.” Despite the bit of a different feel here compared to some of his more rocking CDs, he still does not let up on the emotion one iota or shy away from reminding us what the blues is all about. When he sears the final song “The Bottle, The Book or the Gun” into your soul,  your satisfaction level should be high as Tinsley is a master at enticing you to not merely listen to his music, but to truly feel and experience it.  – MW


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