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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Red Clay Soul. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Red Clay Soul. Show all posts

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Heartfixer Music artist: Tinsley Ellis - Red Clay Soul - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (June 3, 2016), Red Clay Soul, from Tinsley Ellis and it's got real soul. Opening with All I Think About, Tinsley Ellis shows that he is continuing to spread his wings. The rocking country blues track, features Ellis on lead vocal and guitar, joined by Kevin McKendree on organ and piano, Lynn Williams on drums and Steve Mackey on bass. With a bit more R&B styling, Givin' You Up has strong commercial potential with a solid hook and instrumentation. Callin' has an easy soul feel with an almost Al Green sound. I really like the melody on this track and Ellis alternates his blues runs with his own vocals. Very nice. Anything But Go stays in the soul vein and Ellis does a real nice job of delivering on vocals. McKendree's rich keyboard work anchors this track and Ellis' own melodic riffs are contained and well placed. One of my favorite tracks on the release, Hungry Woman Blues, is a deep soul track with a strong blues twist. Mackey creates a solid bottom on bass and McKendree's keyboards the ambiance for a very strong WW Washington/JG Watson style track. Excellent! Circuit Rider has the structure of Albert King's "The Hunter" but Ellis' version has some really nicely stylized guitar riffs giving the track a special something. Very nice job. Don't Cut It is a solid rocker reinforced by Williams tight rhythm. Really nicely phrased guitar riffs with shades of Cray and shimmering chords sets this track firmly in the top few on the release. Party Of One is a quiet blues number with Ellis' vocals up front and somber guitar work and warm riffs by McKendree setting up the track. Nicely executed guitar lead on the second verse gives this track a really memorable feel. Very nice. Spanish influenced, Estero Noche has that Latin jazz/rock flavor that carried Santana's Supernatural to great heights. This is a really nice track with moving percussion and flavorful guitar melody. Excellent! Wrapping the release is The Bottle, The Book or the Gun. This track has a nice cadence featuring possibly the most tasty solo featuring super flat bent vibrato accents. A cool track and an excellent closer for a really solid release.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tinsley Ellis Announces Release Of Red Clay Soul on June 3 Alongside Initial Dates Of Global Tour


Extensive Global Tour Planned From May Through December To Support Release

Atlanta, GA --- Tinsley Ellis has travelled a million miles, and through that journey he has become a man with clarity about where he stands today and his future destination.  As a proud Georgia-based artist, with his new album Red Clay Soul he celebrates a legacy built on four decades of performing, recording and song writing.  Travelers headed to Florida or other destinations in the Southeastern U.S. encounter red clay embankments as they hit the state of Georgia, and Ellis has chosen to title this new collection Red Clay Soul to celebrate the music of the area.  He offers, "Georgia is where the Blues has got Soul. From the gospel inspired Ray Charles, to the R&B of James Brown and Otis Redding, to the Rock and Roll of Little Richard, to the Blues Rock of The Allman Brothers Band, all these acts have one thing in common. They all have the sound of Georgia and down here we call that sound red clay soul."

Over the past 40 years, Tinsley Ellis has performed in all 50 states, across Canada, Europe, South America and Australia.  He's taken the stage in Russia, the Canary Islands and other destinations not on the traditional touring circuit. His vision for the future is to continue to release the type of albums that push the boundaries of Blues and to expand his touring radius. He reflects, "Playing concerts is what I've done the longest. From the time I was a young teenager watching BB King, Howlin' Wolf and Billy Preston, to the great new music of today, I've taken what I've learned from these masters and incorporated it into my concerts. From BB King, I learned about performing with dynamics. From James Brown, I've learned about putting on a seamless, exciting concert. From The Allmans, I've learned about how to excite fans with extended instrumental jamming. I try to learn something new about putting on shows at every concert I attend." 

There are a number of special guests on the new album who have strong ties and history to Ellis' career.  Oliver Wood from The Wood Brothers, and keyboardist/producer Kevin McKendree both return as a collaborators.  Ellis states, "Kevin is someone I have recorded with on every studio album I've done since Fire It Up, which was produced by Tom Dowd.  On this one, he co-produced with me for the first time, and it was his idea to record live in the studio. That insight and vision yielded an album that is different and more exciting than the others we've done in his Nashville-based studio.  When it comes to Oliver Wood, he was in my band in 1993-94, and was a big part of my 1994 Storm Warning album. A decade ago, we wrote "Givin' You Up," and it finally comes out on Red Clay Soul. I love what Oliver brings to the song on both guitar and vocals. We decided to leave the long jam version on the album, and it's fun as hell."

Ellis’ travels have earned him a gifted musical life filled with coveted experiences.   Being present as a relevant artist yielded organic opportunities many dream of.  He shares, "My proudest moments onstage have been the times I've been invited to sit in with my musical heroes: Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Otis Rush, James Cotton, The Allmans and so many others.   In 2013, I was invited to be a part of the Blues At The Crossroads 2 Tour, a run that celebrated the music of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. I was the 'Rock Guy' on the tour. The other frontmen were guys who actually recorded and toured with Muddy and Wolf. They were James Cotton and Bob Margolin from Muddy's band and Jody Williams, the Chess Records session guitarist who recorded on many Wolf and Bo Diddley sides. And The Fabulous Thunderbirds backed us all up. It was cool because I was the youngest frontman on the tour, and they rode me hard, calling me a 'little whippersnapper' and 'sonny boy.' The stories these guys told as we traveled coast to coast were hilarious. To this day, I don't underestimate how much they schooled me musically."

The new album is on Ellis' own Heartfixer Music label, of which he reveals, "I've been in the business of music for over 40 years now. I've been passed around like a joint from label to label, from booking agency to booking agency, from manager to manager, and from producer to producer, so I've learned a lot. Knowing what works in the music business can be very valuable, but knowing what doesn't work in the music business is priceless.  Things are changing fast in the music business, and it's adapt or die."  The label name comes from a piece of his own history.  In 1981, "Chicago" Bob Nelson and Ellis formed a traditional Blues band called The Heartfixers in Atlanta, a name inspired by the Albert King song called Heartfixin' Business. The label is named after that band. The Heartfixers recorded 4 LPs, and disbanded when Ellis signed to Alligator Records as a solo artist in 1988.

Tinsley Ellis has achieved a lot of success and worked with some of the best in the business.  He has toured the globe, released 19 albums (with Red Clay Soul), and hit the heights of commercial success with songs covered by other artists – notably, Jonny Lang recording "A Quitter Never Wins."  Ellis even gave Derek Trucks his recording debut on Ellis' Storm Warning. He won Rock/Blues Album Of The Year with Tough Love in 2015 from Blues Blast Magazine and made many "Best Of" lists within Downbeat and others.  Tinsley Ellis continues to release compelling music. And he continues to bring it night after night at one venue after another across the globe, sharing his blues-steeped legacy, fine songwriting, and deep pride in being a Georgia-based artist.

Confirmed appearances include:
5/12     Key West, FL                                                 Key West Theater
5/13     Boca Raton, FL                                              The Funky Biscuit
5/14     Tallahassee, FL                                               The Moon
6/08     Kansas City, MO                                            Knuckleheads Saloon
6/09     Minneapolis, MN                                            Dakota Jazz Club
6/10     Chicago, IL                                                     Navy Pier
6/11     Auburn Hills, MI                                            Callahans Music Hall
6/12     Indianapolis, IN                                              Jazz Kitchen
6/17     Macon, GA                                                     Cox Capital Theater
6/19     Birmingham, AL                                             Workplay Theatre
6/23     Asheville, NC                                                 Isis Theatre
6/24     Charlotte, NC                                                 The Double Door Inn
6/25     Atlanta, GA                                                    City Winery
6/30     Bloomington, IL                                             The Castle Theatre
7/02     Grafton, WI                                                    Centennial Park
7/12     Annapolis, MD                                               Ram's Head
7/14     New York, NY                                               Iridium Jazz Club
7/15     Somerville, MA                                               Thunder Road
7/16     Sellersville, PA                                                Sellersville Theater
7/17     Pawling, NY                                                   Daryl's House
7/21     Fall River, MA                                                Narrows Center For The Arts
7/22     Wilmington, DE                                              Summer Concert Series
7/23     Hampton, VA                                                 Hampton Block Party
7/30     Calgary, AB                                                    Calgary International Blues Festival
8/11     Cleveland, OH                                                Music Box Supper Club - Ballroom
8/12     Columbus, OH                                                Woodlands Tavern
8/13     Cincinnati, OH                                                Cincy Blues Fest
9/10     Travelers Rest, SC                                          Music In The Park Concert Series
10/09   Daytona Beach, FL                                         Daytona Blues Festival
10/21   Newburry, SC                                                 Newburry Opera House
10/29   San Juan, PR                                                   Legendary R&B Cruise (Until 11/05)
12/02   Park City, UT                                                  Egyptian Theatre
12/03   Park City, UT                                                  Egyptian Theatre