Tinsley Ellis review…February 18, 2015…

TINSLEY ELLIS

TOUGH LOVE

HEARTFIXER MUSIC  HFM 1012

SEVEN YEARS–MIDNIGHT RIDE–GIVE IT AWAY–HARD WORK–ALL IN THE NAME OF LOVE–SHOULD I HAVE LIED–LEAVE ME–THE KING MUST DIE–EVERYTHING–IN FROM THE COLD

We had the great fortune to see Tinsley Ellis in Atlanta several years back, when he was a vital part of Chicago Bob Nelson and the Heartfixers, and we knew he was something special, even back then.  Since those days, Tinsley has released seventeen albums, all showcasing his dazzling guitar abilities and clever, mature songcrafting.  His latest set is entitled “Tough Love,” ten originals that show why he’s been able to stay on top of his game for some thirty-five years.  He’s joined by some fine session men, too.  There’s Kevin McKendree on keys, Lynn Williams on drums, and Steve Mackey on bass.  This one was recorded at the Rock House in Franklin, TN, and Tinsley produced.  As such, the listener gets that “live in the studio” feel, as the band laid down a helluva tight groove on these cuts.

Leading off is a minor-key story of a love affair that crashes and burns after “Seven Years,” done in by a “one-night stand.”  “Midnight Ride” and “Hard Work” show Tinsley’s allegiance to the classic Southern rock sounds, while “All In The Name Of Love” creates a Stax vibe that features Jim Hoke on sax and Steve Herman on trumpet.

Tinsley’s slide guitar and his passion for Albert King come into play in the haunting, eerie, “The King Must Die,” while he revisits the good ole Heartfixer days, and also adds harp on the juke-joint blues of “Everything.”

We had two favorites, too.  Another affair that was “over a long time ago” has Tinsley begging his lover to just “Leave Me, if that’s what your heart wants to do.”  And, the slow-burn of “Should I Have Lied” has a great B. B. King vibe in Tinsley’s guitar work, as he ponders that question after his lover “spent all night crying.”  This one is embellished by great solo work from Tinsley and strong piano from Kevin.

Tinsley Ellis is a literal “road warrior” with his nearly-non-stop touring.  He’s played in all fifty states as well as Europe, Canada, Australia, and South America.  He wanted to make “Tough Love” for his fans, and we all can embrace and enjoy it!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: