Tinsley Ellis: Ice Cream in Hell - Fiery and Tasty!

ICE CREAM IN HELL Tinsley Ellis, Heartfixer Music BMI 

If Blues is what soothes your soul, gets you through a pandemic or arms you in the daily trenches, then take a little ride down tin pan alley, to a little malt shop called… Ice Cream In Hell.

If DNA ancestry tests could be done on the mitochondrial musical soul, then Tinsley Ellis’ results would undoubtedly include markers of family tree contributors, that would include King BB, Clapton, the Roberts ie. Johnson & Cray, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray (one ride in Tinsley’s guitar stable was indeed, formerly played by SRV). Hundreds of other souls would round out and fill in the genetic pool. Third-cousins-twice-removed might even include Big Mama, Lucinda…it’s possible he channels Belushi and Aykroyd here and there:)

Tinsley Ellis and posse have delivered a concise, tight catalog of original grit, spit and polish that would do his kin proud! The widely toured and recorded Kevin McKendree has contributions on many Grammy wins or noms. Alongside Ellis again on “Ice Cream In Hell”, his contributions are a consistent intrinsic, with notable organ and piano riffs skillfully trellising through the landscape of each storyline.

They say bass players can sleep in a sink. Doesn’t matter where they sleep, as long as they hold down the tail of the beast. On active duty, is the multi-talented and consistently present Steve Mackey, whose vast historophy testifies of his ability to saddle a whale while resting in a sink. 

Perfect portions of percussive nutrition are served up by Grammy winning session drummer, Lynn Williams. This is pleasantly not a surprise, but a given. Williams has for decades, possessed subtle sensibilities that always result in well-above-par impact.  Quintin Ware of the Delbert McClinton tribe, spends the necessary brass to light up the mood with his trumpet on “Last One to Know” and “Everything and Everyone.” 

Nashville cat Jim Hoke, who’s work you’ve heard dozens of times whether you know it or not, contributed the essence on these two numbers as well. With his mastery on the sax, he positions the required pace, and vacillates through the storyline, dodging between the front scenery and the backdrop.

Dependably, as with a great deal of popular music and especially the blues, Tinsley Ellis’ all-original lyrics often get their life around the roaring fire pit of the Divine, earthly enmity between man and woman. The curse of it is a familiar and exasperating human condition, yet Tinsley skillfully demonstrates his unique abilities in the crowded field of human suffrage. He also adeptly manages a tasty economy with not only the lyrics themselves, but his exceptional guitar playing and duel-ish vocal instrumentation.

Throughout Ice Cream In Hell, you’ll be treated with the horns meeting the bellows of Tinsley’s impassioned lungs, and interludes that cover the prism between desolation and defeat to caustic pride, as well as some “not sorry” fun in blue giftwrap. You’ll tap into songs or segments of songs, which are humble tributes simply by their hereditary nature, regarding structure and smooth composition (whether conscious or influence-based free form creative thought).
It’s honoring and very heir-like) 

This is a music head’s need, and a blues-ist’s “must- have”!


Tip of the hat to the invisibles:
Jim Demain
Yates McKendree
Kevin Niemiec
Jayne Tansey-Patron
Marilyn Stringer
Kevin Niemiec
Booking: Rachel Doe (404) 793-7023
Crossover Touring, rachel@crossovertouring.com

Written By: Mary Magnolia