Responses from presenters, reviewers, students, and audience members:

Scott’s Right Hand’s From Krypton!

“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 […]

Wardsboro VT – Oct. 2017

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 […]

The gold standard

“Scott is a master of anything with strings: his playing is effortless and soulful. He knows the history and the context of the music, and his own songs are sly […]

Blues Music Magazine

“Scott Ainslie is a veteran touring pro who is frequently found performing in venues up and down the East Coast. With a warm, affable persona, and a wealth of musical […]

–Brian M. Owens
Blues Music Magazine, Issue Number Seven

Washington Post Review

“Scott is the kind of musician they don’t make any more, in the mold of the late Pete Seeger – unpretentious, dead serious about his craft, dedicated to preserving traditional […]

Pamela Constable, Feb. 2015
The Washington Post

Ainslie sings Hurt

Ainslie sings Hurt with dignity and does justice to him musically and artistically. It’s a respectful tribute with superior guitar instrumentation. He captures Hurt’s music closely to the original while making it […]

Frank Matheis, March 2015
Living Blues Magazine

Sold Out Performance

Scott’s performance at our sold-out Community Arts Festival gala on Saturday night was incredible. He’s a talented musician, historian, teacher, and — maybe most importantly — a compassionate human […]

Mark Kelly, Feb. 12, 2015
Holly Springs Arts Council, NC

Studied with Elder Musicians

A Phi Beta Kappa and honors graduate of Washington & Lee University, Ainslie also studied with elder musicians on both sides of the color line – in the Old-Time southern […]

Music-Arts Reporter
The Mountaineer, Waynesville NC

An Important Teacher and Protagonist

Ainslie is a beautiful stylist who respects the country blues and acoustic blues music, feels it deep down to his soul, and understands its essence. He is not just an […]

Outreach Coordinator
Mississippi Valley Blues Society, LeClaire IA

Old Blues and Southern Musical Traditions

Ainslie is one of the most important cultural protagonists of the old blues and Southern musical […]

Outreach Coordinator
Mississippi Valley Blues Society, LeClaire IA

Mississippi Valley Blues Society

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 […]

Outreach Coordinator
Mississippi Valley Blues Society, LeClaire IA

A Debt To The Blues

It’s common knowledge that the vast majority of popular music owes a debt to American blues, but few have set about repaying it with Scott Ainslie’s sense of purpose…Spend a […]

Michael Witthaus
Claremont Eagle Times, Claremont NH

Mississippi Valley Blues Society

Thanks so much for your recent presentation on Blues Guitar Music & History at the LeClaire Community Library last Monday evening.  We received so many wonderful comments on your playing […]

Sue Mannix, MLS, Director
LeClaire Community Library LeClaire, IA

Fantastic Program at NC Museum Of History

Thank you for the fantastic program this past Sunday at the NC Museum of History. The seamless mix of music and some of the stories behind it made for a […]

Jamie Katz, Program Associate
PineCone - Piedmont Council of Traditional Music Raleigh, NC

Unpretentious, Authentic and Soulful

I really enjoyed meeting you and hearing you play at Caffe Lena. I deeply love the music you play and I enjoyed your approach to it – unpretentious, authentic and […]

Torey, Patron
Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, NY

I Don’t Even Like Blues That Much

I don’t even like the blues that much, but I will sit and listen to Scott Ainslie play the blues as often as you let me. He sings about love […]

Rebecca, Patron
Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, NY

More Than A Musician

Scott Ainslie is more than a musician. It’s perfectly true that his voice is incredibly clear and powerful, and his guitar playing is expert beyond anything most people have ever […]

Leddy Hammock, Minister
Unity Church, Clearwater, FL

Sophisticated, But Also Intimate

What worked about your show was that it was sophisticated but also intimate.  These students identified with you, with your stories and your struggles, and I think this identification kept […]

Staci Sanders, Family Programming
The ArtsCenter, Carrboro NC

It Doesn’t Get Much Better Than That!

With Scott’s performance, you don’t just get a guy singing songs. He’s a great storyteller, historian, and educator. From the minute he starts, you know you’re with someone who cares […]

Shane W. Cadman, Artistic Director
Ruth B. Shannon Theatre for the Performing Arts, Whittier College, Whittier, CA

It Meant A Lot to Our Audience

For our in-house outreaches, Scott Ainslie gave two 50-minute performances for K-8 students (with 300-400 students in each), and kept them engaged and interested the whole time. One parent who […]

Shane W. Cadman, Artistic Director
Ruth B. Shannon Theatre for the Performing Arts, Whittier, CA

Totally Enjoyable, Educational, and Listenable

I really can’t express how blown away I was with the totally enjoyable, educational, and listenable stage set and workshop you presented for us this year at the Western Maryland […]

Carl W. Discque,
Western Maryland Blues Festival

Educational, Informative, and Charming

Ainslie’s rapport with the audience was keenly matched with his versatility, and the crowd was swept away on a musical journey through time and space, with constant reference to the […]

Jonathan Fox
The River Reporter, Narrowsburg, NY

A Master of Acoustic Blues

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 […]

Dan Bolles
Seven Days, Burlington, VT

Ainslie’s Performance Was Extraordinary

Scott Ainslie’s performance was extraordinary. Students positively glowed throughout the concert and were impressed with his scholarly knowledge of Blues history and his musical technique. Students assigned Ainslie’s show the highest […]

Teacher Comments
Calliope Concerts Executive Summary, Pittsburgh, PA

Blues Like an Electric Shock

Last, but definitely not least, was Scott Ainslie, a virtuoso of Delta blues slide guitar. When he walked on stage, his 1931 National steel guitar shone like a polished silver […]

Ellen Arthur
The Spectator, Durham NC

He Lives In The Groove

Durham resident Scott Ainslie led the way, accompanied by his trusty National Steel guitar and a heart full of the best of Robert Johnson, Blind Boy Fuller, and Blind Blake. […]

Philip Van Vleck
The Spectator, Durham NC

A Consummate Storyteller

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 […]

Executive Summary
Calliope Concerts

Exactly What We Hope For

Your concert was a wonderful success for Calliope. When we set about crafting a unique and diverse series every season, evenings like that and performances like yours are exactly what […]

Steve Miklas
Calliope, Pittsburgh PA

No Ordinary Blues Musician

Ainslie is no ordinary Blues musician. Not hardly. He has delved into the music and its history and doesn’t mind sharing it. – “Year’s 10 Best Jazz & Beyond,” Pittsburgh, […]

Nate Guidry
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Until Sunday Breakfast!

His guitar playing is so technically perfect, his feel for the Delta Blues so vivid, that I sat through his set with a dumb smile on my face…I would have […]

Arden Kelsey
The Spectator, Durham, NC

Magical in Both Song and Storytelling

We truly enjoyed your time here and the schools cherished your outreach.  Your blues workshop scored a major impression on the guitarists from all over the West Georgia region.  The […]

Robert B. Jennings
University of West Georgia

Tied to the Life and Work of Robert Johnson

During his career, Ainslie has become particularly tied to the life and work of late bluesman Robert Johnson, whose legend states that he sold his soul to the devil at […]

Stephanie Mangino
The Winchester Star

Teaching the Historical Roots of Blues

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 […]

Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
Westminster Patch

Scott Ainslie Has a High Calling

Scott Ainslie has a high calling. He’s a blues and traditional roots musician, a blues historian, storyteller, teacher, record producer, and ethnomusicologist. He’s developed a strong voice and conscience to […]

Robin Tolleson
Blue Ridge Now

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