Veteran Atlanta-based blues rocker Tinsley Ellis releases Tough Love, his latest CD and third on his own Heartfixer Music label, on Feb. 3rd. Recorded outside Nashville at keyboardist Kevin McKendree’s Rock House studio, Tough Love showcases the many diverse styles that Ellis has mastered, drawing inspiration from blues and rock greats like Freddie King, Albert Collins, Jimmy Reed, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton.
“This album just flowed out of us in the studio, and that’s a good thing for a blues album to do,” Ellis says. “Making a record is all about capturing a vibe in the studio and the vibe was great during these sessions. Each song had a different groove. We used an arsenal of vintage guitars, amps, drums and keyboards to make the songs sound more quirky. You can’t go wrong making an album for the fans, and that’s what we tried to do.”
Now well into his third decade as one of America’s premier blues guitarists, Ellis first made his mark in the Atlanta scene in the early ‘80s with his band The Heartfixers. From the late ‘80s through the end of the ‘00s, he recorded a series of acclaimed albums for Chicago’s Alligator Records. His hometown release show for Tough Love is scheduled for Feb. 21st at Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse.