Hear songs from Tinsley Ellis’s new CD Speak No Evil, as well as hearing Tinsley talk about how he got started and the new record.
If you’re new to Tinsley Ellis you have some real catching up to do. With over a dozen records out, spanning from the early eighties to the newest one Speak No Evil that came out on Alligator Records just two days ago. Tinsley Ellis is a proud southern blues-rock artist that has had some very well received records like the critically acclaimed Storm Warning, Moment of Truth, and Live! Highwayman. Live! Highwayman was made even better by the fact that he let his fan pick the songs for the record by way of the internet. Now that’s a man that really wants to please his fans.
In the show Tinsley talks about his first time meeting B.B. King as a young teenager, and then later getting to know B.B. much better. Like many of us the British blues-rock bands like The Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, The Animals, and Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac moved him. As he dug more into the blues he found B.B. and Freddie King as well as many more blues string binders, as he likes to call them. After playing in several bands, including the Alley Cats and The Heartfixers, Tinsley found himself as the only original member of The Heartfixers by the time their fourth record came out. Wisely he decided to change the name of the band to Tinsley Ellis. This way there would be no confusion on who was the boss and what music they would play. Right about this time Tinsley was signed to Alligator Records for whom he has recorded almost all the records for over the past twenty some years for.
Tinsley Ellis said Speak No Evil is a “guitar driven southern blues-rock” record, because it is on Alligator Records and Bruce Iglauer, the founder, likes to capture a vibe, a house rockin sound. Speak No Evil definitely has that house rockin vibe. The record kicks off with “Sunlight of Love” a hard-hitting blues-rocker with a lot of wah-wah guitar that lets you know this will be a good time. This is followed by the song “Slip and Fall” with good hooks and lead guitar this should be the song the radio stations will be playing. “It Takes What It Takes” is a well done slower southern blues song. Tinsley said his song “The Other Side” is kind of like a Peter Green “Oh Well” type of song. “Cold Love, Hot Night” was almost left off the record but we got lucky and it was added. He describes it as being kind of like a Robert Cray song. It’s nice because it comes in at about the middle of the record and adds a different style to what you have been hearing. The title track “Speak No Evil” was written for Guitar Shorty to do, but Bruce talked Tinsley into recording the song. They liked the song so much that this became the title of the record.
Tinsley has written songs for other artists. One that impressed me was “Easy Come, Easy Go” on Michael Burks’ latest record Iron Man. Tinsley said that Michael nailed the song so good he didn’t even want to try doing it on Speak No Evil, this is now Michael’s song.
He went on to praise how wonderful an artist Michael Burks is. If you have not heard my show on Michael Burks here is a link to that.
If you go to Alligator Records they have an autograph copy you can buy of Tinsley Ellis’s Speak No Evil, while supplies last. If you like the four songs played in the show you will love the whole CD. Tinsley will also be doing an extensive tour. Check tour dates out at Alligator Records and go see his show, my calendar is marked.
Songs played in this week’s show:
“Slip & Fall”
“Loving For Today”
“Sunlight of Love”
Check out other artists on Alligator Records
Like Tommy Castro, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, Buckwheat Zydeco, or how about Michael Burks
Thanks to Tinsley Ellis for taking time to do this interview.
Thanks to Bruce Iglauer for setting everything up.
Blues Music and Interviews
formerly A1 Artist Spotlight. Com
by A1 Mark