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Scarcely two months have elapsed since Georgia-based blues guitarist Tinsley Ellis made his first stop at Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St., but he's raring to return on Wednesday night. "Buffalo was where people seemed aware not only of the Alligator stuff, but also the Heartfixers stuff before that," he said by phone this week from his home in Decatur, Ga. "That's the kind of place you want to go right back to."

The Heartfixers stuff -- four albums worth -- dates from the early '80s, when Ellis was playing in that band, which was one of the hottest in the Southeast. The Alligator stuff is the two albums he has put out on Alligator Records since he took a chance in 1988 and started leading his own band. Signed up with the management company that backs fellow blues-rocker Stevie Ray Vaughan and engineered Gregg Allman's comeback, he's on the road 300 days this year in support of his latest LP, "Fanning the Flames."

"When I first went solo, some of the clubs in the South refused to change the name of the band," Ellis related. "They still had us as the Heartfixers. Leaving that band was a risky move, but it's certainly paid off. So we're over that hump. The next hump is to get some commercial radio play, like our buddies Robert Cray and R.E.M." -- Dale Anderson

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