Tinsley Ellis is a bluesman. He spends 200+ days a year on the road and has done so for ~ 20 years. His catalog includes 7 CD's for Alligator, 1 for Capricorn, and now a new release for Telarc, "Hell Or High Water". My personal favorite from Tinsley's catalog is 1994's "Storm Warning", a CD that Rolling Stone correctly laid 5 stars on. That disc also contains Ellis' version of his song "A Quitter Never Wins". Jonny Lang recorded "Quitter" and Grammys were passed around. "Storm Warning" was a live in the studio recording produced by Eddy Offord (Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, 311). Offord is on board again for "Hell Or High Water". The live in the studio approach is given the Telarc DDD treatment. Backed by his road band (Kenny Kilgore on guitar, Philip Skipper on bass, and Scott Callison on drums), and aided by Kevin McKendree on keyboards and Donna Hopkins on background vocals, Ellis delivers 12 originals that cover blues his way. He plays 'em slow, he rocks a bit, he even goes acoustic. The playing, as always, is terrific. The voice remains a personal choice; like many blues singers, his instrument is far from perfect but capable of very fine expression. I like what he does. I have long since decided that there are few, if any, on this board who give a sh*t about modern blues. It would be unrealistic of me to expect to change anyone's mind about this or any other subject. But if you are like Tinsley and I and many thousands more, and you found blues roots through the back door after being introduced to the sound by British artists in the 60's, you'll find a lot of what keeps drawing me into funky blues joints for a fix on this CD. It's a mix of roots and originality played well. It makes me feel good.