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Marcia Ball & Tinsley Ellis

Tuesday
11
Apr

Acoustic Songs & Stories

An Intimate Evening of Music & Memories
Why you should see this show…

Tinsley Ellis and Marcia Ball are excited to present an intimate evening of their music and memories called Acoustic Songs and Stories. They will each play a set of their own songs. Tinsley, an elder statesman of the Blues world, will perform many of his most popular songs from his twenty albums, plus some delta blues and classics on his National Steel and Martin acoustic guitars. Marcia, a five-time Grammy nominee, will play the piano and sing her often raucous and sometimes touching original songs full of the characters and places that shaped her. They will weave the music together with stories from their years on stage and on the road. Finally, they will come together as a duo to close the night playing songs together and swapping tales of their travels and travails.
 

 

Tinsley Ellis Bio
World renowned Southern blues-rock guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Tinsley Ellis — like every other musician — was caught off-guard when the pandemic shutdown hit in March 2020. Ellis was forced to cancel the tour promoting his just-released album, Ice Cream In Hell, only six weeks into the 60-date run. This would be the first time in 40 years he’d be off the road, and as he drove the 2400 miles home from Reno to Atlanta, he was already formulating his future plans.

Ellis resolved to dedicate his pandemic-forced downtime to creating new songs and growing as a songwriter. To get back to his musical roots, he began composing on amps and guitars that he hadn’t used for decades. He explored obscure studio and live recordings from some of his greatest musical heroes, such as the Allman Brothers, Freddie King, Michael Bloomfield, B.B. King and beyond, and was inspired by his favorite artists all over again. Eighteen months later, Ellis had written an astonishing 200 new songs.

Explains Ellis, “There was a lot of time to experiment. In my downstairs studio I set up every guitar and amp that I owned, plus a Leslie cabinet, an old wooden Wurlitzer electric piano, an old Maestro Echoplex tape delay and 30 or 40 glass, steel and brass slides. Experimenting with different gear set ups inspired the songwriting. Plus, I was able to listen to more music than I had since the 1970s. My imagination was fired up!”

As early as April 2020, he began regularly releasing his new material online, keeping his thousands of fans engaged and soaking up their comments and responses. He knew, thanks to the reactions of his fans to his new songs, that he needed to make a record and get back on the road as soon as possible. Ellis whittled his massive song list down to ten, enlisted his friend and co-producer, keyboard master Kevin McKendree, and headed for Franklin, Tennessee’s famous Rock House recording studio. The result is Ellis’ new Alligator album, Devil May Care, a record Ellis says “is for the fans as much as for me.”

Born in Atlanta in 1957, Ellis was raised in southern Florida. He acquired his first guitar at age seven, soon after seeing The Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. He took to it instantly, developing and sharpening his skills as he grew up. Ellis discovered the blues through the back door of British Invasion bands like The Yardbirds, The Animals, Cream and The Rolling Stones as well as Southern rockers like The Allman Brothers. One night in 1972, he and a friend were listening to Al Kooper and Michael Bloomfield’s Super Session record when his friend’s older brother told them if they liked that, they should really go see B.B. King, who was in town that week.

Tinsley and his friends went to the Saturday afternoon performance, sitting transfixed in the front row. When B.B. broke a string on his guitar, Lucille, he changed it without missing a beat, and handed the broken string to Ellis. After the show, B.B. came out and talked with fans, mesmerizing Tinsley with his warmth and kindness. Tinsley’s fate was now sealed; he had to become a blues guitarist. He saw Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and every other blues artist who came through town, always sitting up front, always waiting to meet the artists, take photos, and get autographs. To this day, he still has B.B.’s string.

Devil May Care, Ellis’ 20th album, contains ten of his most dynamic original compositions, mixing muscular rock ‘n’ roll and hard blues into his own instantly recognizable sound. Highlights include the Southern rock-tinged opening trio of songs—”One Less Reason,” “Right Down The Drain,” and “Just Like Rain”—to the slow-burning “Don’t Bury Our Love” to the Hendrix-y “Step Up” and “28 Days.” The emotionally-charged guitar solos soar in full service to the songs, as if Ellis is living and breathing the sound rather than simply playing the notes. “The goal,” says Ellis, “was to make the guitar sing.”

According to AllMusic.com, “Ellis’ playing underscores the emotional depth in the lyrics. His meaty solos dig deep.” With Devil May Care, Ellis proves that true again, with ten jaw-dropping, career-topping performances. As he continues adding more dates to his already packed tour schedule, Ellis will bring his high-energy Southern blues-rock to fans all across the country. “It’s been a long 18 months,” he says, “and now folks are ready to have some fun.”

 

 

Marcia Ball Bio
“Fifty years have passed in a flash,” says pianist, songwriter, and vocalist Marcia Ball of her long and storied career. Ball, the 2018 Texas State Musician Of The Year, has won worldwide fame and countless fans for her ability to ignite a full-scale roadhouse party every time she takes the stage. Born in Orange, Texas and raised in Vinton, Louisiana, her deep Acadian heritage and a lifetime of absorbing Gulf Coast rhythm and blues is evident in her original songs and the classics she chooses to cover. This has made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music lovers all over the world. With each new release, her reputation as a profoundly soulful singer, a boundlessly talented pianist and a courageous, inventive songwriter continues to grow. Her love of the road has led to years of soul-satisfying performances at festivals, concert halls and clubs.

In Marcia’s most recent album, Shine Bright, she has put together the most musically substantial, hopeful and uplifting set of songs of her five-decade career. Produced by Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) and recorded in Texas and Louisiana, Shine Bright contains twelve songs (including eight originals), ranging from the title track’s rousing appeal for public and private acts of courage to the upbeat call to action of Pots And Pans, a song inspired by renowned Texas political writer and humorist Molly Ivins. From the humorous advice of “Life Of The Party” to the poignantly optimistic “World Full Of Love,” the intensity of Ball’s conviction never wavers while, simultaneously, the fun never stops. “It is a ridiculously hopeful, cheerful record,” she says, in light of some of the album’s more serious subject matter. The secret, according to Ball “is to set the political songs to a good dance beat.”

 

Dining Option

Our Concert Hall menu is fast to the table and allows you to dine right in your ticketed seat. Tableside food service will start 2 hours before showtime and the kitchen will close approximately halfway through the show. Tableside beverage service will continue throughout the concert.

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