"Someone once asked me how long I can do this," says Tinsley Ellis. "In a rock 'n' roll band, once your hair falls out you're finished. In blues, once your hair falls out you charge another $500 per show. So I'm willing."
Ellis will bring the blues to the Zephyr Club, 301 S. West Temple, at 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29.When Ellis was 14 years old, he was in the front row of a B.B. King concert. King happened to break a guitar string and, changing the string without missing a beat, handed the original string down to the young man in the front row.
The new album "Storm Warning" introduces Ellis' song "A Quitter Never Wins." Considering Ellis' eight albums and his 250-concerts-per-year schedule, that song is meaningful.
And he still keeps that string from B.B. King.
He's also given a big boost to another 14-year-old. On "Storm Warning" he includes as guest debut artist the 14-year-old guitar slide sensation Derek Trucks. Also performing on the album are Count M'Butu, on percussion in "Bush Doctor," and Chuck Leavell, who has been featured with bands like the Rolling Stones and the Allman Brothers, playing organ and piano on several songs.
"Storm Warning" was produced by Eddy Offord, who has handled similar duties with Yes, the Police and the Yardbirds. The album includes six original songs and six remakes. Choice among the remakes is "The Sun Is Shining," with a slow, lemonade-summer feel, complete with harmonica and slow-plucked guitar.