NOTE: Full text of recent reviews are on my News page in categories: Concert Reviews and CD Reviews.
Scott Ainslie stepped onto the stage and swept back his long, graying hair. He slung his 1931 National, a guitar he bought 20 years ago in a pawn shop in Georgia, over his arm. And then he began to play the blues. Teaching the historical roots of blues music, especially to the younger generation, is… Read more “Teaching the Historical Roots of Blues”
Ainslie is a true master of the old traditions, not just as performer but also as a serious blues historian and musicologist. Here is a guy who gets the African-American blues deep into his soul, having connected with it on every level from its origins. He sings in a clear tenor and has perfected his… Read more “Mississippi Valley Blues Society”
With an expressive baritone and nimble fingers…Ainslie is a master of American acoustic Blues. He is also among the most highly regarded Blues historians, a veritable walking encyclopedia of Blues and Jazz.
Reviews of my work in Educational Settings
We are still reeling from the after-effects of your visit. I’ve heard nothing but positive comments from teachers and students who were lucky enough to witness first hand your demonstration and knowledge of the Blues. As for me, I learned way too much from you on the suject of the history of Blues and plan… Read more “We Are Still Reeling”
Scott Ainslie is renowned not only for his Robert Johnson-esque guitar picking, but as a consummate story teller who peppers his shows with heartfelt and often harrowing true stories about the prejudice, violence and poverty that underpin the Blues and affected many of its most influential musicians. –Executive Summary, Pittsburgh, PA
We of Wardsboro Curtain Call have produced 9 shows so far in our short existence, and all of the artists have been delightful, accommodating, wonderfully talented, and a joy to host. You definitely made it to the top of that list, for so many reasons! Both the afternoon elementary school presentation and the evening show… Read more “Wardsboro VT – Oct. 2017”
Reviews from Guitar Students
Yesterday, I attended (as a student), a Scott Ainslie acoustic blues workshop that I helped to organize. Here’s a few thoughts about that: The guitar is a fiendishly simple and beautifully complex machine for making music, that magic blend of rhythm, melody, harmony, and emotion. If you’ve ever sat there looking at your guitar with… Read more “Montclair NJ Guitar Workshop 9/10/2016”
“Scott isn’t pretending to be a black bluesman. But the way he tells the stories of the people who made those songs, lets him present those songs in the voices of the people who wrote them. And also, his right hand is from Krypton. Y’know? His left hand and voice are great, but they’re from… Read more “Scott’s Right Hand’s From Krypton!”
Scott Ainslie has taken on the monumental task of transcribing all of Robert Johnson’s recorded blues songs and succeeded with flying colors…Robert Johnson/At The Crossroads, (Hal Leonard, 1992) stands head and shoulders above any other collection of transcriptions.