Landslide Records is proud and excited to announce the compact disc release of RED CLAY SOUL, a vibrant new set of original, soulful compositions from veteran Georgia blues rocker Tinsley Ellis. A follow up to Ellis award winning, critically acclaimed TOUGH LOVE, the new album combines Ellis masterful guitar and vocal prowess with fresh arrangements and a crack backing band. Produced by Ellis and keyboardist Kevin McKendree, RED CLAY SOUL was recorded live in McKendree s Nashville studio with bassist Steve Mackey and drummer Lynn Williams. Oliver Wood (the Wood Brothers) contributed guitar and background vocal parts on the duet, Givin You Up, which he also co-wrote with Ellis. Additionally, RED CLAY SOUL boasts a wide ranging assortment of soul induced blues rock that opens with All I Think About, a Freddie King inspired rocker, then moves along effortlessly through the southern soul of Callin and the Latin based instrumental, Estero Noche.
Ellis' 2005 return to Alligator, the searing guitar-fueled Live-Highwayman, was the live album his fans had been demanding for years. Recorded at a packed club just outside Chicago, the CD took Ellis' extended soloing and heartfelt vocals to staggering heights. Tinsley's first-ever live release. Always one of the most diverse blues-rockers, Tinsley's unique blend of hard-edged rock, simmering soul, Memphis-style R&B and Texas roadhouse is on high-energy display.
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 two acclaimed solo albums for Alligator and, as of this writing, is preparing his third album. Landslide Records is no longer active, and we at Alligator wanted to make the music of The Heartfixers available again, so more people could discover Tinsley Ellis and this terrific band.
A powerful blues guitarist and an excellent vocalist, Tinsley Ellis dominates his fourth Alligator CD as a leader. His backup band (guitarist Oliver Wood, bassist James Ferguson, drummer Stuart Gibson and occasional organist/pianist Stuart Grimes) does a fine job of inspiring the leader, while slide guitarist Derek Trucks and Albey Scholl on harmonica make notable guest appearances. While Ellis often plays quite passionately and hints at rock, he also performs an occasional quieter piece that shows his more traditional and introspective side. There is plenty of spirit on this generally rousing set. Rolling Stone says he plays “feral blues guitar…non-stop gigging has sharpened his six-string to a razor’s edge…his eloquence dazzles…he achieves pyrotechnics that rival early Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.”
Trouble Time is a 1992 blues album by Tinsley Ellis. It was recorded by Mark Richardson at Triclops Sound Studios and Ricky Keller at Southern Living Studio Atlanta, Georgia with horns recorded by Lynn Fuston at Classic Recording Nashville, Tennessee. Killer blues/rock guitar from an artist who just keeps getting more exciting. A legitimate guitar hero delivers the blues–alive, kicking and drenched in sweat.
Fanning the Flames is an erratic but impressive set from Tinsley Ellis. While his basic sound is indebted to Stevie Ray Vaughan, the guitarist borrows from every other major blues artist. Furthermore, he has a tendency to overplay his licks, giving the album a feeling of unfocused fury. That sound can be overwhelming, though; his technique is impressive, even if he doesn't know when to reign it in. As a consequence, Fanning the Flames may not be of interest to general listeners, but for guitar fans, there's plenty of music here to treasure.
The hottest young rockin' blues guitarist in the South made his Alligator debut with this 1988 release. Like most of Tinsley Ellis' albums, Georgia Blue is filled with hot, blistering guitar, mediocre songs and flat vocals. For fans of blues guitar, there's plenty to hear on the album – the licks and solos burn with a wild, uncontrolled fury. Others might find the album a little tedious, but not without virtue. "One of the top blues guitarists in America today".
With each successive album, Tinsley Ellis has moved further and further away from mainstream blues grooves and closer and closer to hard rock. While his guitar playing is as explosive as ever, it also remains unfocused, the end result being soloing that never reaches a musical climax, but is nonetheless played with an unrelenting energy that music fans who like their blues with rock muscles will appreciate. This is a well played, well produced – if unexceptional – set of modern blues-rock, and fans of the genre will find much here to celebrate…