After being sidelined because of the pandemic, musician Tinsley Ellis is back on the road bringing blues music to communities across the nation.
On his coast-to-coast tour, Tinsley Ellis — Acoustic Songs and Stories, the artist will be making a stop in Greeley at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 14 at the Moxi Theater, 802 9th St.
“I’ve been driving all over America as a part of this acoustic tour and it’s been quite an adventure to travel after doing 40-plus years of band travel,” Ellis explained. “I’m traveling by myself with a couple of acoustic guitars and a suitcase in a car with a trunk full of vinyl albums and CDs to sell.”
During his shows, fans will be able to hear many of Ellis’s most popular songs as well as Delta blues classics by artists such as Gregg Allman, Bob Dylan and Leo Kottke.
The stripped down show will feature Ellis performing on his 1937 National Steel and 1969 Martin D-35 guitars.
“I love acoustic music. I did some shows in Georgia and they went really well,” said Ellis. “People enjoyed the stories as well as the music. Doing songs off of my albums and talking about how I wrote them and doing quirky covers, the response was so good that my agent said ‘how about a tour?’”
Ellis had the opportunity to perform with Kingfish Ingram at a concert in late February in St. Augustine, Fla. Ingram stunned music fans during a concert on Saturday, March 4 at the Union Colony Civic Center.
“He is absolutely amazing, we played together at the end,” Ellis said.
Like many kids his age, musician Tinsley Ellis discovered the blues through music from The Yardbirds, The Animals, Cream and The Rolling Stones as well as the Allman Brothers. (Credit/Elaine Thomas Campbell)
Ellis, born in 1957 in Atlanta, Ga. and raised in southern Florida, first picked up the guitar at age seven after watching The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Bands like The Yardbirds, The Animals, Cream and The Rolling Stones as well as the U.S. band, The Allman Brothers, fueled Ellis’s interest in the blues genre.
As a teenager, Ellis still has a prized souvenir, a broken guitar string from a B.B. King concert he attended. After breaking the string and changing it without missing a beat, King handed the broken string to a wide-eye Ellis, who was seated in the front row.
Before deciding to take on a solo career, Ellis played with the Alley Cats and The Heartfixers.
Ellis released his first solo studio album, “Georgia Blue,” in 1988 with Alligator Records. Ellis kept up his musical momentum by releasing “Fanning the Flames” in 1989, “Trouble Time” in 1992, “Storm Warning” in 1994 and “Fire It Up” in 1997.
Blues musician Tinsley Ellis performed for music fans in all 50 United States, as well as in Canada, Europe, Australia and South America. (Credit/Flournoy Holmes)
His album, “Devil May Care,” released in 2022, is comprised of songs written during the pandemic, when live performances were put on hold.
“I wrote 200 songs in the almost two years off, so I had a lot more songs to choose from. I also did a thing on social media where I posted a song and let the fans weigh in on it,” Ellis said. “I had more songs to choose from and choosing from what we felt like were the best songs to put on the album.”
As he begins to transition into less time on the road and more time at home, Ellis is looking to write songs for other artists.
“I’ve had really good luck with that with an artist name Johnny Lang. He sold two million copies of my song, so that definitely got my attention,” Ellis said. “That’s been very much a new thing for me, a new focus.”
Tickets for the show at the Moxi are $18 per person in advance for general admission, $20 per person for general admission on the day of the show. Reserved tables on the upper levels are $50 for two and $100 for four. Floor tables range from $50 for two people up to $200 for a table for eight.
All ages with a valid photo ID are welcome to attend the show.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to www.moxitheater.com .
To learn more about Tinsley Ellis, including his music, tour schedule and bio, go to www.tinsleyellis.com .
This article was originally published in Greeley Tribune