Tinsley Ellis: Ice Cream Man (Alligator/Southbound)

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No Stroll in the Park
Tinsley Ellis: Ice Cream Man (Alligator/Southbound)
As we've noted previous – in fact probably for about two decades – if tough Chicago blues is your thing then all you need to see is the record label Alligator and all you needs will be satisfied. Usually.

Tinsley Ellis – originally out of Georgia who came to the blues via the British blues boom route of the Sixties – is reliable and Elsewhere acclaimed his previous album Winning Hand (which went on to win best blues rock album in the Blues Blast Magazine awards).

He's a raw and sometimes angry vocalist whose guitar work we likened to a flamethrower, but a witheringly accurate one.

He shifted labels a bit but is back on Alligator which does seem the natural home for his assertive style and this year he has been nominated for the Blues Rock Artist by the Blues Foundation.

Acclaim also comes from his peers like Buddy Guy, and in his fortysomething year career he was on the same bill as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Koko Taylor, Son Seals, Albert Collins, Otis Rush and Willie Dixon.

Across the 11 original he unleashes that gritty vocal and blistering but constrained playing, and if the lyrics sometimes let him down or a chord progression sounds instantly familiar it hardy matters because that's not what you are here for.

Ellis delivers, just as the cover image promises.

You can sample Ellis' previous work at Spotify here

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Keith Shackleton - Feb 4, 2020

His resemblance to English comedian Bill Bailey is doing my head in.

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