Midnight Blue - New Release

Midnight Blue

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Get It!

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Tinsley Ellis: onstage and backstage

By Tim Parsons On October 10, 2013, Tahoe Onstage

"With his freshly printed CD, “Get It!,” Atlanta bluesman Tinsley Ellis came to Tahoe July 29 for a show in the Crystal Bay Casino Red Room. Before the show, Ellis talked about performing live and what he did to help a pair of aspiring blues players, Jonny Lang and Derek Trucks, when they were teenagers. Ellis, bass player Ted Pecchio and drummer Erik “Jazzy Skins” Kaszynski perform “A Quitter Never Wins” and “Devil for a Dime.”

See the full video interview HERE!

ABB at the VZW

Allman Brothers Band with Tinsley

Allman Brothers Band, 09/02/13. VZW Amphitheater at Encore Park, Alpharetta GA.

Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Tinsley, kicking it on "Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home."



Photo Credit: Susan Jenkins Taylor

Coincedence? We think not....

UPPER ROOM WITH JOE KELLEY & GI DUSSAULT RADIO SHOW features podcast with Tinsley and other Blues greats

The Upper Room

The Upper Room has posted a very interesting podcast interview with Tinsley discussing his 2009 Alligator release, Speak No Evil.

"The Upper Room with Joe Kelley has been on the radio airwaves since 1982. Joe Kelley and Gi Dussault co-host the show and are well-respected in the music business as creative air personalties and supporters of independent musicians . Our web site is located at www.upperroomwithjoekelley.com . The show broadcasts 24 hours/ 7 days a week here, and also, live locally, in Fairfield, CT on WVOF 88.5 FM , on Mondays from 6-10pm EST.

The show features creative music in funk, R&B, jazz, blues, rock, hip-hop, latin, and gospel. In addition, Joe Kelley has interviewed renowned musicians such as Victor Wooten, Sheila E. , Foley, Robin Duhe, Jef Lee Johnson, Jellybean Johnson, Monte Moir, Rhonda Smith, Bernie Worrell, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Bland, Larry Graham, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, Steve Smith, St. Paul Peterson, JD Blair, Tori Ruffin, Kat Dyson, Eric Person, actor Jeff Daniels, Junior Giscombe, John Scofield, EC Scott, John Blackwell, Mystic Bowie, and many others. Finally, "The Upper Room" hosts an in-house concert series.'

Steady Rollin' Get It! A Driving New Album From Tinsley Ellis

Crossroads 2: Muddy & The Wolf

Photo Credit: Dianne Dunklau © 2013

Left to right: Tinsley Ellis, Bob Margolin, James Cotton, Kim Wilson, Jody Williams. "Blues at the Crossroads 2: Muddy & The Wolf"

March 21, 2013
Bob Margolin, BluesReview.com

"In February and March 2013, I have been on one of the most enjoyable tours of my life. “Blues At The Crossroads 2” is a tribute to Muddy and Howlin’ Wolf that played twenty shows in theaters and performing arts centers around the U.S. The basic band is The Fabulous Thunderbirds, featuring the amazing Kim Wilson. I believe Kim is at the peak of his powers, singing and confirming his reputation as one of the all-time great blues harp players ever. He hosts the revue with grace and pace.

Today’s version of the Fabulous Thunderbirds is spectacular, and I know I’m only seeing them performing these old Chicago Blues songs, not the T-Birds’ old and new material. Mike Keller and Johnny Moeller are on guitars, Jay Moeller is a dramatic drummer, and Randy Bermudes lays down a deep foundation with his driving bass.

The special guests for this tour include Mr. Superharp himself, James Cotton, and Chicago guitarist Jody Williams, known for his own hit instrumentals and his recordings with Howlin’ Wolf, Bo Diddley, and Billy Boy Arnold. I believe I’m on the tour for my Muddy Waters credentials; I played in his band for seven years and carry on his slide guitar style, which I learned from him directly. I’ve told my own blues stories in my music since my time with Muddy, but that’s not what I’m here to do. Originally we were going to have J.J. Grey as a guest. His wider-than-blues audience would attract more people to our show and though I don’t know him, I’m told he would interpret the Howlin’ Wolf songs strongly.

Then, just two weeks before the tour started, I heard that J.J. Grey had to cancel due to a throat problem. And I got a call from my old friend Tinsley Ellis, who surprised me by telling me he was going to replace J.J. Grey. We talked on the phone for an hour, catching up, and looking forward to hanging out and playing together more than we have in the whole previous rest of our lives."

Read more of "Steady Rollin'" Bob Margolin's and Tinsley's road trip, along with the "Get It!" review at BluesReview.com

Blues at the Crossroads 2: Muddy & The Wolf

Tinsley at the Crossroads 2

Photo Credit: Bob Kieser © 2013 Blues Blast Magazine

February, 2013
Bob Kieser, Blues Blast Magazine on Facebook, 2013

"I got the chance to attend this great show last week [Feb. 1, 2013] in Springfield, Illinois. (Thanks Tinsley!) "Blues at the Crossroads 2: Muddy & the Wolf" is a national tour with The Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson backing up James Cotton, Tinsley Ellis, Jody Williams and Bob Margolin. To say this is a great lineup is a waste of breath as these guys are legends themselves.

The show started out with the Fabulous Thunderbirds kicking it off for an intro featuring Jay Moeller on drums, Johnny Moeller and Mike Keller on guitar and Randy Bermudes on bass. And of course they were joined by the great Kim Wilson on harmonica. Kim is one of the most talented performers on the music scene today. He has it all, a great voice, a commanding stage presence, great song writing and of course his immense talent on harmonica. Kim served as MC and band leader throughout the evening.

One of the first "guests" for the evening was southern Blues rocker Tinsley Ellis. Tinsley has more than 10 albums on major labels like Capricorn, Telarc and Alligator to his credit and his immense gift showed in his portion of the show as he played exciting electric versions of "Killin Floor" and "Howlin For My Darlin". He then followed up with an acoustic dobro version of "Little Red Rooster".

Next up was a set featuring "Steady Rollin" Bob Margolin. Bob Margolin was one of the members of Muddy Waters band from 1973 to 1980. Bob has played with many Blues legends over the years including, Johnny Winter, James Cotton, Pinetop Perkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and many others. Margolin treated the audience to his classic song "Mean Old Chicago" and Muddy Waters' "Gone to Main Street".

Kim Wilson then stepped up to play a couple more tunes including the Sonny Boy Williamson tune "Early In The Morning" followed by an amazing version of his own classic, "Kim's Boogie" to end the first set which was followed by a 30 minute intermission. "Kim's Boogie" is an amazing harmonica tune that uses a technique called "split tounge" where Kim is able to hold a long loud note and play other notes around it as he holds the main note. Don't know how he does it but it is quite impressive!

After the intermission we were treated to a set by Chicago Blues legend, Jody Williams. Jody got his start in 1951 when he met and played with Bo Diddley. Jody is the lead player you hear on the Bo Diddley classic, "Who Do You Love". Williams then played with a string of other greats including Memphis Minnie, Elmore James and Otis Spann. He soon became a session musicians for Chess records where he met Howlin' Wolf and became Wolf's first guitarist. Soon after he was joined in Wolf's band by Hubert Sumlin for a powerful duo guitar sound that is still legend to this day. Williams and Hubert are featured on many of the Howlin' Wolf recordings. WIlliams also played lead guitar for Billy Boy Arnold, Jimmy Rogers, Otis Rush and others. Jody treated the crowd to his best known instrumental "Lucky Lou" as well as "How Many More Years" which he recorded with Howlin' Wolf.

Finally it was time for the big star of the night, harmonica legend James Cotton! James was in fine form and thrilled the crowd with his classic instrumental "Creeper" and "Rivers Invitation"

The whole group of stars came back on stage for a great version of ""Got My Mojo Workin" which brought the crowd to their feet in a thunderous standing ovation to close the show!

It was a real treat to see such a performance of classic Blues tunes done by such legendary performers. Often one hears others doing these tunes but to hear these masters perform them is quite a show. The Blues At The Crossroads 2 tour continues. This is a stunning classic Blues ensemble!"

National Tinsley

Tinsley at Variety Playhouse

Photo Credit: Reese, Amused to Life

Tinsley at Atlanta's Variety Playhouse, May 4, 2013

"Guitar hero Tinsley Ellis is still a disciple of the blues"

Tinsley AJC

Photo Credit: Jonathan Phillips, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/MCT

April 30th, 2013
Bob Townsend, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA -- In 1972, sitting in the front row at a B.B. King concert at the Marco Polo Hotel in Miami, 15-year-old Tinsley Ellis was smitten by the cool magic of the blues.

When King broke a string, he handed it to Ellis, put one on while still singing a verse, and then nonchalantly hit the next lick.

"That was the first concert I ever saw," Ellis says, allowing that he still has the string. "After the show, B.B. came out and met all the kids in the lobby. He was like Santa Claus. He signed pictures and hugged us and it was a big warm-fuzzy."

Read more here.


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Upcoming Shows
  • 07/04 Buddy Guy's Legends, Chicago IL
  • 07/05 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, Davenport IA
  • 07/07 Zoo Bar, Lincoln NE
  • 07/09 Dakota Jazz Club, Minneapolis MN
  • 07/11 Bluesfest Windsor, Windsor ON
  • 07/12 Kalamazoo Blues Festival, Kalamazoo MI
  • 07/13 Callahan's, Auburn Hills MI
  • 07/14 BB King's, New York NY
  • 07/15 Mexicali Blues, Teaneck NJ
  • 07/16 Infinity Hall, Norfolk CT
  • 07/18 Johnny Noles, Utica NY
  • 07/19 Rock The Barn, Clarence NY
  • 08/06 Blues Alley, Washington DC
  • 08/07 Chan’s, Woonsocket RI
  • 08/08 Bull Run, Shirley MA
  • 08/09 Gloucester Blues Festival, Gloucester MA
  • 08/10 Sellersville Theater, Sellersville PA
  • 08/30 Big Muddy Blues Festival, St. Louis MO
  • 09/01 WRFG Blues BBQ, Atlanta GA
  • 09/05 Jim Porter's, Louisville KY
  • 09/06 Paramount Blues Festival, Grafton WI
  • 10/25 Grayson Blues And Brews Festival, Grayson GA
  • 11/08 Desoto Theatre, Rome GA
  • 12/06 Mars Theatre, Springfield GA
  • 2/7/15 Epcor Centre, Calgary AL

Latest Video

Image of the Month

Tinsley & Kim Wilson

Tinsley & Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds
Blues At The Crossroads II, Photo:Dianne Dunklau


Crossover Booking

Please email barron@crossovertouring.com or call 404.793.7023 x102 for booking information.