Wednesday, April 27, 2016

CD Preview: Tinsley Ellis’ Red Clay Soul

Tinsley Ellis' Red Clay Soul
Over the past four decades, bluesman Tinsley Ellis has performed in every state, as well as Canada, Europe, Russia, Australia, and South America, travelling over a million miles and acting as a true ambassador of the blues. For the Georgia-born guitarist, there’s no place like home, though, and with his new album, Red Clay Soul, Ellis will pay tribute to the musical tradition of the Peach State. “Georgia is where the blues has got soul,” Ellis says in a press release for the new album. “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.”

Ellis will release Red Clay Soul on his own independent Heartfixer Music label on June 3rd, 2016. Says the guitarist about his homegrown label, “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.”

Ellis welcomed a number of guests into the studio for the making of Red Clay Soul, including Oliver Wood from the Wood Brothers, and keyboardist/producer Kevin McKendree. Says Ellis, “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.”

Oliver Wood was a member of Ellis’ band in the early 1980s, and the two artists wrote “Givin’ You Up” a decade ago, the song finally seeing the light of day on Red Clay Soul with Wood providing guitar and vocals. Among the other nine tracks on the album are the bluesy, raucous “All I Think About,” which offers up plenty of Ellis’ stinging guitar and some tasty piano and keyboards riding low in the mix; a wonderful slab o’ Southern soul called “Anything But Go” which showcases Ellis’ often-overlooked vocal chops; and “Circuit Rider,” a roadhouse rocker with a greasy, low-slung groove and a hypnotic riff, with plenty of Ellis’ underrated fretwork woven throughout an enchanting blues performance.

Ellis will be touring in support of Red Clay Soul, bringing his dynamic, electrifying performances to new audiences as he attempts to expand the vocabulary of the blues while expanding the variety of venues in which he appears. “From the time I was a young teenager watching B.B. 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,” he says. “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.”

We’ve listed Ellis’ confirmed 2016 tour dates below so that you can make plans to attend one of these entertaining, electrifying shows…and don’t forget to pick up a copy of Red Clay Soul!

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Tinsley Ellis 2016 Tour Dates
05/12/16 @ Key West Theater, Key West FL
05/13/16 @ The Funky Biscuit, Boca Raton FL
05/14/16 @ The Moon, Tallahassee FL
06/08/16 @ Knuckleheads Saloon, Kansas City MO
06/09/16 @ Dakota Jazz Club, Minneapolis MN
06/10/16 @ Navy Pier, Chicago IL
06/11/16 @ Callahans Music Hall, Auburn Hills MI
06/12/16 @ Jazz Kitchen, Indianapolis IN
06/17/16 @ Cox Capital Theater, Macon GA    
06/19/16 @ Workplay Theatre, Birmingham AL
06/23/16 @ Isis Theatre, Asheville NC  
06/24/16 @ The Double Door Inn, Charlotte NC
06/25/16 @ City Winery, Atlanta GA
06/30/16 @ The Castle Theatre, Bloomington IL
07/02/16 @ Centennial Park, Grafton WI
07/12/16 @ Ram's Head, Annapolis MD
07/14/16 @ Iridium Jazz Club, New York NY
07/15/16 @ Thunder Road, Somerville MA
07/16/16 @ Sellersville Theater, Sellersville PA   
07/17/16 @ Daryl's House, Pawling NY
07/21/16 @ Narrows Center For The Arts, Fall River MA        
07/22/16 @ Summer Concert Series, Wilmington DE
07/23/16 @ Hampton Block Party, Hampton VA
07/30/16 @ Calgary International Blues Festival, Calgary Alberta, CANADA
08/11/16 @ Music Box Supper Club, Cleveland OH
08/12/16 @ Woodlands Tavern, Columbus OH
08/13/16 @ Cincy Blues Fest, Cincinnati OH
09/10/16 @ Music In The Park Concert Series, Travelers Rest SC
10/09/16 @ Daytona Blues Festival, Daytona Beach FL
10/21/16 @ Newburry Opera House, Newburry SC
10/29-11/05/16 @ Legendary R&B Cruise, San Juan PR
12/02 & 12/03/16 @ Egyptian Theatre, Park City, UT

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