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Tinsley Ellis Plays a Winning Hand

Georgia’s finest blues picker, Tinsley Ellis, adds to a legacy of stacked Southern blues recordings and ambitious tours in January. His return to Alligator Records, via new LP Winning Hand, arrives Friday, Jan. 12th. That same night, Ellis begins a three-month, cross-country U.S. tour with a hometown show at Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse.

As usual, Ellis tells great stories through well-written lyrics and heavy doses of guitar virtuosity. Slower blues numbers you’d expect to hear at some hole in the wall on the Mississippi Delta (“Gamblin’ Man”) keep the old time way alive and well as we enter 2018. More rocking numbers, notably the fantastic “Satisfied,” offer temporary relief from the boogie-woogie dance hall blues.

Whatever sound he chases, Ellis captures a level of authenticity that should inspire more than just his fellow blues pickers. Americana artists and garage rockers could learn a thing or two from these songs about tightening up their craft, as well.