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Fanning the Flames

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Album Review

Fanning the Flames is an erratic but impressive set from Tinsley Ellis. While his basic sound is indebted to Stevie Ray Vaughan, the guitarist borrows from every other major blues artist. Furthermore, he has a tendency to overplay his licks, giving the album a feeling of unfocused fury. That sound can be overwhelming, though; his technique is impressive, even if he doesn't know when to reign it in. As a consequence, Fanning the Flames may not be of interest to general listeners, but for guitar fans, there's plenty of music here to treasure.


Born: 04 June 1957 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A hard-rocking, high-voltage blues guitarist most often compared to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tinsley Ellis is hardly one of the legions of imitators that comparison might imply. Schooled in a variety of Southern musical styles, Ellis draws not only from fiery Vaughan-style blues-rock, but also Texas bluesmen like Freddie King and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, the soulful blues of B.B. King, the funky grit of Memphis soul, and numerous other electric bluesmen. Ellis has been praised in many quarters for...
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Fanning the Flames, Tinsley Ellis
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