Tinsley love for electric blues grew by listening to British Invasion bands such as the Yardbirds, the Animals, Cream, and the Rolling Stones. Inspired by a live appearance by B.B. King, he was determined to become a blues guitarist. In 1975, he played with the Haygood Band while attending Emory near Atlanta. Two years later, already an accomplished musician, he returned to Atlanta and joined his first professional blues band, the Alley Cats, a group that included Preston Hubbard of the Fabulous Thunderbirds
In early 2013, Ellis was a part of the ‘Blues at the Crossroads 2′ tour which celebrated the music of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. The tour also included Kim Wilson and The Fabulous Thunderbirds (who backed everyone), James Cotton, Bob Margolin and Jody Williamns.
In 2017 Ellis launched a new side project called Tinsley Ellis Blues Is Dead in which he performs the Blues and R&B songs done by Grateful Dead and other Fillmore era acts.
Tinsley & the boys stopped in Don Odells Legends studios ion March 9th 2015. Seen here performing Seven Years – recorded & mixed by Doug Wallace of Studio 128 Recording & live Sound Services Spfld. Ma.
New album Tinsley Ellis – Red Clay Soul