GET IT! Heartfixer Records, 2013
GET IT! is a throwback collection of instrumental tracks where Tinsley Ellis plays tribute to some of the great guitar players who came before him. Putting the microphone away allows Tinsley’s guitar to take center stage and carry these tunes. His prodigious talent allows him to span the gamut from blues shuffles ala Stevie Ray and Albert Collins to Dick Dale surf guitar and Santana’s smooth Latin style.
SPEAK NO EVIL Alligator Records, 2009
The blues-rock style is lousy with Stevie Ray wannabes, young (and some old) guitarists that mistake style for experience and have little knowledge of where the music comes from. That isn't Tinsley Ellis, a top-flight six-string technician capable of coaxing sounds and emotions out of his guitar that lesser talents can't imagine, much less duplicate. SPEAK NO EVIL is a fine example of Ellis's work, a showcase for his considerable instrumental and songwriting skills, and a heck of a fun album. Ellis never fumbles, and he doesn't so much as wink at passing musical trends...he just consistently delivers entertaining, exhilarating blues-rock music for we folks that like our guitars played loud and our music full of soul.
MOMENT OF TRUTH Alligator Records, 2007
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.
TINSLEY ELLIS - LIVE! HIGHWAYMAN Alligator Records, 2005
Recorded at Chord on Blues in St. Charles, Ill., this set marks Ellis' return to Alligator Records. The Atlanta-based guitar slinger has developed into a triple threat during his 20-plus-year career, and a live album is an ideal showcase. Ellis' instrumental chops are a match for anyone in bluesville, but as he demonstrates track after track, Ellis also possesses a voice made to sing the blues. Then consider that he wrote or co-authored seven of the 11 songs here (they're seven way solid tunes, too). The many facets of Ellis' artistry come together in this project so forcefully that it's virtually impossible to sit through it without concluding that Ellis is one of today's premier blues/rock players. He sure picked the right night to cut a live record.
THE HARD WAY Telarc Records, 2004
Following up on the success of HELL OR HIGH WATER, his 2002 debut on the Telarc label, Ellis digs even deeper and rocks even harder in his new one, THE HARD WAY. From the opening riff of Still in the Game, a track that harkens back to the heyday of Cream, the Allman Brothers and other blues-based guitar rock combos of the late ’60s and early ’70s, THE HARD WAY churns through a dozen tracks that explore the best of the blues and rock traditions - with a few shades of R&B thrown in for variety and texture.
HELL OR HIGH WATER Telarc Records, 2002
Ellis joins the Telarc label with the release of HELL OR HIGH WATER, a 12-track mix of gritty, guitar-heavy blues laced with generous doses of Memphis R&B and urban funk. More than just a vehicle for flashy pyrotechnics, HELL OR HIGH WATER also showcases the formidable songwriting prowess and seasoned, full-bodied vocal attack that have made Ellis a force to be reckoned with for almost two decades in the studio and on the road. HELL OR HIGH WATER 창€” Ellis’tenth career album, his seventh as a solo artist and his first on Telarc 창€” marks a new chapter in the Tinsley Ellis saga. Whether your tastes run toward old-school urban blues or guitar-heavy rock, HELL OR HIGH WATER tells the story with unbridled passion and unswerving conviction.
KINGPIN Capricorn Records, 2000
Featuring stylish production from notable producer David Z. (Prince, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd), as well as stellar contributions from a host of crack sidemen, including drummer Richie Hayward and keyboardist Reese Wynans, KINGPIN showcases Ellis’ fiery guitar work and ditsinctively charged up singing on a variety of original songs and classic covers. ”This is my most groove oriented album to date,” says Ellis. “Working with David Z. gave me incredible new insights into modern production. He literally plays the recording studio as an instrument.”
FIRE IT UP Alligator Records, 1997
Tinsley Ellis is a blues guitarist, with a rock edge. He’s released several excellent discs for Alligator Records over the past decade or so but always seems to remain just below the surface. His work is great and deserves much more attention than it’s gotten thus far. FIRE IT UP may just be the disc that finally breaks him because this is simply one of the best releases of 1997, blues or otherwise. The entire disc contains 12 songs, and there’s not a single throwaway track here. Every blues fan should have a copy of this one! To Tinsley Ellis, thanks for one hell of an album...
STORM WARNING Alligator Records, 1994
STORM WARNING serves notice to everybody that a six-string master has come into his own. Featuring 12 songs - including six Tinsley originals - recorded live in the studio, the album opens with the explosive To The Devil For A Dime, rips straight into the non-stop energy of Cut You Loose, and then moves effortlessly into the mournful slow blues of A Quitter Never Wins (subsequently covered by Jonny Lang.) For the rest of the ride, Ellis takes on the Junior Wells classic, Early In The Morning, and Freddie King's Side Tracked and he shines on his own stand out compositions, The Next Miss Wrong, When I Howl, and the radio single Wanted Man, featuring the recording debut of 14-year old slide guitar sensation, Derek Trucks (who also features in the fiery instrumental Panhead). STORM WARNING also boasts the keyboard talents of Chuck Leavell (featured player with the Allman Brothers, the Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton) on five songs.
TROUBLE TIME Alligator Records, 1992
TROUBLE TIME, Tinsley’s 1992 release, carries his career one step further. The song Highwayman received airplay on over 150 commercial radio stations nationwide. The San Francisco Bay Guardian called the album a “welcome shot of high-tension blues rock...red-hot solos and probing midnight moods over indigo waves of piano and organ.” Guests Peter Buck and Chuck Leavell brought even more critical and popular attention to the already heralded release.
Rockin’ boogie sultry ballads; “A legitimate guitar hero delivers the blues”
FANNING THE FLAMES Alligator Records, 1989
FANNING THE FLAMES was released on Alligator in 1989. By now it was obvious that Ellis’ talents as a songwriter and vocalist were approaching his guitar prowess. With the nine original songs and a sound that incorporated funk rhythms into his already solid blues foundation, Ellis was entering musical territory that was all his own. Hundreds of radio stations and newspapers took notice across the country. In the debut issue of Guitar Extra!, the magazine gave Tinsley the lead review, declaring, “Ellis plays his ass off at every turn, making this a fiery and complete blues package.”
GEORGIA BLUE Alligator Records, 1988
With GEORGIA BLUE, the 30-year-old Ellis reaches maturity as a guitarist and vocalist. Ellis’ deep love of the blues is represented here with tributes to the legends whose music inspired him, from Albert King's I’ve Made Nights By Myself to Texas Stomp, Tinsley’s own homage to the Texas guitar heroes Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown and T–Bone Walker. When Tinsley wants to step out from the tradition, he delightfully picks his way through funky blues-rock originals like Can't You Lie and Free Man, the title of which is sort of a symbol of Ellis' evolution as a solo artist. As he puts it: “Ten years ago you couldn’t buy a job as a blues guitarist in Georgia. It hasn’t happened overnight, but there’s a new audience for this music in the Deep South. I’m glad that people want to hear me play the music I really love.” Those of us who have watched Tinsley Ellis grow from a local guitar hero to an internationally recognized bluesman can agree wholeheartedly.
COOL ON IT Alligator Records, 1986
In the mid-1980s, The Heartfixers were Atlanta’s top blues band and one of the most popular bands in the Southeast. Led by guitarist/vocalist Tinsley Ellis, they packed local and regional clubs and cut two albums for the Landslide label. It was their second album, COOL ON IT, that brought Tinsley to the attention of Alligator Records and led to his signing in 1988. Since the original release of this recording in 1986, Tinsley Ellis has gone on to become recognized as one of the finest contemporary blues/rock guitarists of his generation. He has recorded a number of acclaimed solo albums for Alligator... We at Alligator wanted to make the music of The Heartfixers available again, so more people could discover Tinsley Ellis and this terrific band.
LIVE AT THE MOONSHADOW Landslide Records, 1983
Great early guitar work from Tinsley Ellis during his stint with one of the South’s hottest blues acts, The Heartfixers, featuring harmonicist “Chicago” Bob Nelson.
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