Tinsley Ellis says he “can’t even remember when I played two nights somewhere in the same place. I think it’s been years.” But the Atlanta-born blues guitarist plans to give Detroit area fans a reason to check out both shows he’s doing at Callahan’s in Auburn Hills this weekend.
“We’ll do a different show each night,” Ellis, 51, promises. “I just gauge it by the crowd, the demeanor of the crowd and stuff like that. It’s pretty flexible. I’m not resting on my laurels or anything, but it’s nice to have so much stuff to choose from.”
Ellis hopes to add to that body of work next year, too. He says he’s “writing songs right now” for his follow-up to 2007’s “Moment of Truth” and expects to hunker down “in the cold winter months when I’m not touring.” The ultimate arbiters of what he’ll record tend to be his record company, Chicago-based Alligator Records, but Ellis says he tries to keep that pressure at bay until he has a batch of material together.
“It’s kind of fun when I’m just writing by myself and not having to fly it up a pole and see who saluted,” he notes. “I went to a lecture given by Woody Allen, to all these film students. They asked him what his favorite part of the creative process was, and he said writing, ’cause at that point it’s just you and the stuff — nobody’s criticizing and you don’t have to ask for money. It’s just you and the material.
“I can relate to that. But guess what; eventually that time’s over, and I’ve got to find a way to fly it up the pole. There’s no way around it.”
Tinsley Ellis performs at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Nov. 14-15) at Callahan’s, 2105 South Blvd., Auburn Hills. Tickets are $25. Call (248) 858-9508 or visit www.atcallahans.com.