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Tinsley Ellis and Coco Montoya

Special Exhibition Concerts

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Stratocaster-fueled, fierce slash-and-burn guitar work . . . dramatic, smoldering Southern soul-rooted intensity. Montoya’s voice is as expressive as his guitar.

Washington Post

Feral blues guitar . . . nonstop gigging has sharpened his six-string to a razor’s edge . . . his eloquence dazzles . . . he achieves pyrotechnics that rival early Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.

—Rolling Stone

The old Willie Dixon adage, “blues is truth,” perfectly describes the searing, contemporary blues-rock of world-renowned guitarist and vocalist Coco Montoya. Taught by the “Master of the Telecaster,” Albert Collins, but with a hard-edged sound and style all his own, Montoya mixes his forceful, melodic guitar playing and passionate vocals with memorable songs, delivering the blues’ hardest truths. He earned his status as a master guitarist and soul-powered vocalist through years of paying his dues as a sideman with Collins (first as a drummer) and then with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers before launching his solo career in 1993. Five years of constant touring with Collins and ten years with Mayall turned him into a monster player and dynamic performer. Montoya has released eight solo albums—including three for Alligator Records between 2000 and 2007—and has played at clubs, concert halls, and major festivals all over the world. Guitar Player says Montoya plays “stunning, powerhouse blues with a searing tone, emotional soloing, and energetic, unforced vocals.”

Born in Atlanta in 1957, Tinsley Ellis was raised in southern Florida. He 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.

Over the course of his career, Ellis has shared stages with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Otis Rush, Willie Dixon, the Allman Brothers, Leon Russell, Son Seals, Koko Taylor, Albert Collins, and many others. Whether he’s on stage with his own band or jamming with artists like Buddy Guy, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gov’t Mule, or Widespread Panic, he always plays with grit, soul, and unbridled passion. Back home on Alligator Records with his new album and a massive live tour in the works, Tinsley Ellis is ready to prove again that whenever he picks up a guitar, he’s playing with a winning hand.

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