Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tinsley Ellis Gets It!

Its been a bit since the last Tinsley Ellis, and the blues rocker has returned with an all instrumental album, Get It! (Heartfixer Music). Recorded in Nashville and Atlanta, Ellis is backed by Kevin McKendree on keyboards, Lynn Williams on drums and percussion; and Ted Pecchio on bass (on 5 of the ten selections). The selections include eight originals and two covers and allow Ellis to display not simply his impressive guitar chops and tone, but his ability to craft thoughtful, yet electrifying solos.

There is a nice range of material ranging from his tribute to (and evocation of the style of) Albert Collins on the opening Front Street Freeze, along with his tribute to Roy Buchanan on Anthem For A Fallen Hero. Berry Tossin’ is a lively take-off of Chuck Berry’s distinctive guitar style through Ellis’ own approach (with some Freddie King riffs tossed in). The title track is a driving bulldozer of a guitar shuffle while Fuzzbuster has Ellis exploring a range of tonal effects. Detour is a cover of a lesser known Bo Diddley track with Ellis playing through a Leslie speaker, suggesting classic Lonnie Mack. 

The focus here is strictly on Ellis as the backing musicians play solely in a supportive role. Get It! impressively displays Ellis imagination, power and taste as a guitarist.

A publicist sent my review copy to me. Here is some vintage Tinsley Ellis doing a classic Joe Zawinul tune that was written for the great Cannonball Adderley.

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