Tinsley Ellis brings guitar to food bank benefitWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tinsley Ellis has always enjoyed the twang of the guitar.
The blues guitarist and songwriter received his first guitar at the age of 8 and has been playing ever since.
“I saw The Beatles on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ and I begged my parents for a guitar. I bet a lot of guitars were sold that next day,” Ellis said during a June 4 phone interview from his hotel stop in Las Vegas.
Ellis has continued to play through the years because of his love for the music and its “reckless abandonment.”
“I’ve always really enjoyed the thrill of the applause and I enjoy playing the music. A lot of people stop, but I still enjoy making the notes fit together,” Ellis said.
The Atlanta native said when he schedules time to write music, songs don’t come.
“Songs usually come to me when I’m driving down the road,” Ellis said. “My telephone has a recorder, so when I’m driving I’m singing and saving things to my phone. Then I come back home and play it back in the studio and decide if I still love the melody.”
Ellis has recorded 12 albums and is currently on tour for his latest, “Speak No Evil.”
When Ellis is on tour he misses the studio and when he’s in the studio he misses performing live, he said. “It’s a nice mixture,” Ellis said.
Ellis will perform at the Blues & Jazz Festival at the Centennial Terrace in Sylvania on June 19.
“I’ve played the area many times over the years. One thing about Toledo is there is a real strong blues following and a blues society that has always been really helpful,” he said. “I have many fans and friends in the area and I’m very excited about seeing them all.”
Gates for the Blues & Jazz Festival open at 3 p.m., with Josh Boyd and the VIP Band opening the show at 4 p.m.
Ellis will take the stage at 8 p.m. Bernard Allison, who Tinsley has played with in the past, will headline the festival.
“Bernard is posed to be at one point down the road king of the blues. I just love him. We’ve bounced off each other for decades now,” Ellis said.
Tickets for the show are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.
Proceeds from the festival benefit the Northwestern Ohio Food Bank.
“I’m happy and proud to be involved with charities and the food bank is a great cause,” Ellis said.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.toledofoodbank.org.