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SCOTT AINSLIE Appearing Sunday Aug 3rd 2014 at 7:30pm


Scott Ainslie is a traditional acoustic Blues singer, guitarist, historian and songwriter with personal roots in the Civil Rights era and a great affection for cross-cultural exchange. He is a powerful musician, a fine singer, and a masterful storyteller.

As a traditional musician with expertise in both the Southern Appalachian fiddle and banjo tradition, and Piedmont and Delta Blues, Ainslie has specialized in performing and presenting programs on the African roots of American music and culture in community and educational settings.  Ainslie has spent the past thirty years looking for the right story – the right set of facts, the right bit of history – to introduce a song. He offers us a personality, a moment in history, a vignette to entice us into a song and to give that song a chance to wake and breathe among us like a living thing.

And along the way, he has developed a healthy respect and working expertise for the many musical and cultural African retentions that have deep roots in African traditions and yet remain vital and active in America’s culture today.   Scott Ainslie’s performances present a wonderful palette of sounds and stories to delight the ear, awaken the mind and satisfy the heart. Give him your attention. You won’t regret it.

A musician all his life, Ainslie took up guitar at age 15 about five weeks after hearing Virginia Bluesman John Jackson play a couple of songs in the middle of one of Mike Seeger’s concerts in Alexandria, VA in 1967.

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 Appalachian fiddle and banjo traditions, as well as with black Gospel and Blues musicians.   He transcribed the original recordings and published a book on Delta Blues legend Robert Johnson, Robert Johnson/At The Crossroads (Hal Leonard, 1992), and has an instructional DVD on Johnson’s guitar work, Robert Johnson’s Guitar Techniques (Hal Leonard, 1997).

Ainslie has five solo CDs to his name and maintains an active recording, performing and teaching schedule that carries him around the country, to Canada, and to Europe. He has received numerous awards and grants for his work documenting and presenting traditional music. These include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency in Washington DC) and from the Folklife Section of the North Carolina Arts Council.  Ainslie was presented with the annual Independent Weekly Triangle Arts Award; the National Slide Guitar Festivals’ Living Heritage Award; and the 20th Annual Sam Ragan Fine Arts Award from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, NC.

CLICK HERE to visit the artists website.