Tinsley Ellis & Carolyn Wonderland

The Funky Biscuit Presents

Tinsley Ellis & Carolyn Wonderland

Saturday October 7, 2017

8:00 pm

The Funky Biscuit

Boca Raton, FL

$30.00 - $45.00 General Admission $35.00 Day Of Show (Under 21 + $10 at the door)

Tinsley Ellis
Tinsley Ellis
"Feral blues guitar...non-stop gigging has sharpened his six-string to a razor's edge... his eloquence dazzles...he achieves pyrotechnics that rival Beck and Clapton." -- Rolling Stone

"Ellis unleashed a torrent of dazzling musicianship pitched somewhere between the exhilarating volatility of rock and roll and the melancholic passion of urban blues." -- Los Angeles Times

"Raw and righteous, funky and strong." -- Village Voice

Tinsley Ellis has travelled a million miles, and through that journey he has become a man with clarity about where he stands today and his future destination. As a proud Georgia-based artist, with his new album Red Clay Soul he celebrates a legacy built on four decades of performing, recording and song writing. Travelers headed to Florida or other destinations in the Southeastern U.S. encounter red clay embankments as they hit the state of Georgia, and Ellis has chosen to title this new collection Red Clay Soul to celebrate the music of the area. He offers, "Georgia is where the Blues has got Soul. From the gospel inspired Ray Charles, to the R&B of James Brown and Otis Redding, to the Rock and Roll of Little Richard, to the Blues Rock of The Allman Brothers Band, all these acts have one thing in common. They all have the sound of Georgia and down here we call that sound red clay soul."

Over the past 40 years, Tinsley Ellis has performed in all 50 states, across Canada, Europe, South America and Australia. He's taken the stage in Russia, the Canary Islands and other destinations not on the traditional touring circuit. His vision for the future is to continue to release the type of albums that push the boundaries of Blues and to expand his touring radius. He reflects, "Playing concerts is what I've done the longest. From the time I was a young teenager watching BB King, Howlin' Wolf and Billy Preston, to the great new music of today, I've taken what I've learned from these masters and incorporated it into my concerts. From BB King, I learned about performing with dynamics. From James Brown, I've learned about putting on a seamless, exciting concert. From The Allmans, I've learned about how to excite fans with extended instrumental jamming. I try to learn something new about putting on shows at every concert I attend."

There are a number of special guests on the new album who have strong ties and history to Ellis' career. Oliver Wood from The Wood Brothers, and keyboardist/producer Kevin McKendree both return as collaborators. Ellis states, "Kevin is someone I have recorded with on every studio album I've done since Fire It Up, which was produced by Tom Dowd. On this one, he co-produced with me for the first time, and it was his idea to record live in the studio. That insight and vision yielded an album that is different and more exciting than the others we've done in his Nashville-based studio. When it comes to Oliver Wood, he was in my band in 1993-94, and was a big part of my 1994 Storm Warning album. A decade ago, we wrote Givin' You Up, and it finally comes out on Red Clay Soul. I love what Oliver brings to the song on both guitar and vocals. We decided to leave the long jam version on the album, and it's fun as hell."

Ellis’ travels have earned him a gifted musical life filled with coveted experiences. Being present as a relevant artist yielded organic opportunities many dream of. He shares, "My proudest moments onstage have been the times I've been invited to sit in with my musical heroes: Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Otis Rush, James Cotton, The Allmans and so many others. In 2013, I was invited to be a part of the Blues At The Crossroads 2 Tour, a run that celebrated the music of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. I was the 'Rock Guy' on the tour. The other frontmen were guys who actually recorded and toured with Muddy and Wolf. They were James Cotton and Bob Margolin from Muddy's band and Jody Williams, the Chess Records session guitarist who recorded on many Wolf and Bo Diddley sides. And The Fabulous Thunderbirds backed us all up. It was cool because I was the youngest frontman on the tour, and they rode me hard, calling me a 'little whippersnapper' and 'sonny boy.' The stories these guys told as we traveled coast to coast were hilarious. To this day, I don't underestimate how much they schooled me musically."

The new album is on Ellis' own Heartfixer Music label, of which he reveals, "I've been in the business of music for over 40 years now. I've been passed around like a joint from label to label, from booking agency to booking agency, from manager to manager, and from producer to producer, so I've learned a lot. Knowing what works in the music business can be very valuable, but knowing what doesn't work in the music business is priceless. Things are changing fast in the music business, and it's adapt or die." The label name comes from a piece of his own history. In 1981, "Chicago" Bob Nelson and Ellis formed a traditional Blues band called The Heartfixers in Atlanta, a name inspired by the Albert King song called Heartfixin' Business. The label is named after that band. The Heartfixers recorded four LPs, and disbanded when Ellis signed to Alligator Records as a solo artist in 1988.

Tinsley Ellis has achieved a lot of success and worked with some of the best in the business. He has toured the globe, released 19 albums, and hit the heights of commercial success with songs covered by other artists – notably, Jonny Lang recording "A Quitter Never Wins." Ellis even gave Derek Trucks his recording debut on Ellis' Storm Warning. He won Rock/Blues Album Of The Year with Tough Love in 2015 from Blues Blast Magazine and made many "Best Of" lists within Downbeat and others. Tinsley Ellis continues to release compelling music. And he continues to bring it night after night at one venue after another across the globe, sharing his blues-steeped legacy, fine songwriting, and deep pride in being a Georgia-based artist.
Carolyn Wonderland
Carolyn Wonderland
A musical force equipped with the soulful vocals of Janis and the guitar slinging skills of Stevie Ray, Carolyn Wonderland reaches into the depths of the Texas blues tradition with the wit of a poet. She hits the stage with unmatched presence, a true legend in her time.

She’d grown up the child of a singer in a band and began playing her mother’s vintage Martin guitar when other girls were dressing dolls. She’d gone from being the teenage toast of her hometown Houston to sleeping in her van in Austin amid heaps of critical acclaim for fine recordings.

Along with the guitar and the multitude of other instruments she learned to play – trumpet, accordion, piano, mandolin, lap steel – Wonderland’s ability to whistle remains most unusual. Whistling is a uniquely vocal art seldom invoked in modern music, yet it’s among the most spectacular talents the human voice possesses.

That vocal proficiency was well-established in the singer’s midteens, landing her gigs at Fitzgerald’s by age 15. She absorbed Houston influences like Little Screamin’ Kenny, Albert Collins, Lavelle White, Jerry Lightfoot, Joe “Guitar” Hughes, Little Joe Washington, “borrowed” a car to sneak out and jam, ended up swapping songs with Townes Van Zandt at Houston’s Local’s on White Oak, got involved in the underground theater scene becoming the first “Photochick” in Jason Nodler’s “In the Under Thunderloo” and soaked up touring bands like the Paladins, Los Lobos, and the Mad Hatter of Texas music, Doug Sahm. Her music played in television series such as “Time of Your Life” and NBC’s “Homicide.” The Lone Star State was as credible a proving ground for blues in the 1980s and 90s as existed, especially in Austin with Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Angela Strehli, Omar & the Howlers, and Lou Ann Barton all in their prime. By the following decade, Austin’s blues luster thinned, but Houston, always a bastion of soul and R&B, boasted the Impferial Monkeys with the effervescent Carolyn Wonderland as ruler of the jungle.

In the early 1990s Wonderland & the Imperial Monkeys were invited to the Guadalupe Street Antone’s in Austin. There, they were treated like royalty with the singer as the queen of hearts in the club’s post-Stevie Ray Vaughan stable, which included Toni Price, Johnny and Jay Moeller, Sue Foley, Mike and Corey Keller, and the Ugly Americans. It was a good bar for the Monkeys to hang, and Austin felt so comfortable that when the band called it quits a few years later, after a run in with black ice and a semi that wound young Miss Wonderland in the hospital, she set her sights on Austin at the start of the millennium. Besides, Doug Sahm had told Carolyn while they were signing autographs together at the High Sierra Music Festival she ought to move to Austin, as it was the land of free guitar lessons. She was there in months.

Living in Austin renewed Carolyn Wonderland’s focus on her multiple talents, underlining luxurious vocals with fine guitar work, trumpet, and piano, as well as that remarkable ability to whistle on key. Despite spending two years homeless (or as she puts it, “van-full,”) Austin has been fertile ground for Carolyn. A series of each-better-than-the-next discs began with Alcohol & Salvation in 2001 (“songs about booze and God; records are a time capsule of what happened that year”) 2003’s “Bloodless Revolution”, The Bismeaux Releases: 2008’s “Miss Understood,” 2011’s “Peace Meal” (recorded at Bismeaux and at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock,) 2015’s “Live Texas Trio”; and here we are with 2017’s “Moon Goes Missing.”

Carolyn also got to stretch out with other bands and notably appears in Jerry Lightfoot’s Band of Wonder’s 2002 release, “Texistentialism” featuring Jerry Lightfoot, Vince Welnick (Greatful Dead, The Tubes, Todd Rundgren,) Carolyn, Barry “Frosty” Smith (Lee Michaels, Sly & the Family Stone, Rare Earth, Soulhat) and Larry Fulcher (Taj Mahal, Phantom Blues Band). She has released many songs for charity, 2016’s “Room at the Inn” (iTunes) benefits Doctors Without Borders, 2013’s “Money in the Game” (featuring Marcia Ball and Shelley King) benefits Planned Parenthood, “the Farmer Song” from “Miss Understood” benefits Farm AID, “Annie’s Scarlet Letter” from “Bloodless Revolution” benefits NORML, 1997 Justice Records released Carolyn’s version of Little Screamin’ Kenny’s holiday lament, “Blue Lights” (featuring Ian McLagan) benefitting MD Anderson Children’s Art Project.

Carolyn’s first appearance on vinyl? She’s with James Williamson (Stooges) on the April 2014 Record Store Day single, “Open Up & Bleed” AND on the full LP inspired by that fun session, “Re-Licked” featuring Raw Power Era songs with cool and risky guests.

Her circle of musician friends and admirers broadened to include not only Ray [Benson, who produced Miss Understood] but also the late Eddy Shaver, Shelley King, and yes, Bob Dylan, who likened her composition “Bloodless Revolution” to “a mystery movie theme.” She appeared on the same taping with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings when she made her debut on PBS’ “Austin City Limits” (Season 35.) and had the thrill of her life when Bonnie Raitt joined her onstage for “The Road to Austin” concert film featuring Stephen Bruton and all his friends, got to play with James Cotton, Pinetop Perkins, and so many others at Antone’s, she and Erin Jaimes put together a benefit for Uncle John Turner and Johnny Winter insisted on bringing his band by to play, Carolyn’s wedding to A. Whitney Brown was officiated by Mike Nesmith (Monkees,) who serendipitously introduced them on set at VideoRanch in 2010. (there is video of the two of them on stage together that day!) She began co-writing with locals Sarah Brown, Shelley King, Marcia Ball, Ruthie Foster, Cindy Cashdollar, and Guy Forsyth; sat in with Los Lobos, Levon Helm, Vintage Trouble, Robert Earl Keen, and Ray Wylie Hubbard; and toured relentlessly for the past two decades, sometimes with luminaries like Dave Alvin, Buddy Guy and Johnny Winter, so far spreading her music in US, Europe, South America and Japan. She also claims membership in the all-girl Sis Deville, the gospel-infused Imperial Crown Golden Harmonizers, the Texas Guitar Women, and the Woodstock Lonestars.

Carolyn ain’t done yet. Come see why at a show! (seriously, she’s perpetually on tour.)
Venue Information:
The Funky Biscuit
303 SE Mizner Blvd
Royal Palm Place
Boca Raton, FL, 33432
http://funkybiscuit.com/