From community concert series and local schools to the Kennedy Center and the renowned Empire Music Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland; Scott Ainslie plays and speaks of the music he loves with passion and authority. Combining over thirty years of scholarship and forty playing guitar, Ainslie presents a beguiling mix of the African and American roots of the Blues, in story and song.
A Phi Beta Kappa and honors graduate of Washington & Lee University, Ainslie was a leader in the North Carolina Visiting Artist Program and served on its state board from 1988-1990. He was a University of North Carolina Public Fellow in 2000, and was awarded the 20th Annual Sam Ragan Fine Arts Award by St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College. Ainslie has received numerous other awards and grants for his artistic and scholarly contributions through Blues performance, documentation, scholarship, and education.
Ainslie's recordings include three roots-oriented acoustic blues projects, Jealous of the Moon (1995), Terraplane (1997), You Better Lie Down (2002), and a collection of Ainslie’s non-blues original songs, The Feral Crow (2004), and his current Thunder’s Mouth (2008).
In 1997, Ainslie also has an instructional DVD on the music of Mississippi blues legend, Robert Johnson for Starlicks Master Sessions Videos, a follow-up product to his ground-breaking book, Robert Johnson/At The Crossroads, (Hal Leonard, 1992).
Ainslie’s new CD, Thunder’s Mouth, is an original and moving extension of his work with African and African-American music. It is a powerful body of work that brings together diverse songs and influences from traditional acoustic blues and African-American songs, Ainslie’s original songs, and African solo guitarists blending it into a harmonious whole.
Having come of age during the Civil Rights Era just outside of Washington, DC; Ainslie now makes his home in Brattleboro, Vermont. When he is not touring, he teaches locally and is actively involved with local arts groups and progressive politics.