FIVE FIRSTS: Scott Ainslie

Scott Ainslie
Scott Ainslie

NAME: Scott Ainslie
INSTRUMENT: Blues & Slide Guitar, Old-Time Banjo, Diddley Bow

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … There were two: Phil Ochs’ I Ain’t Marchin’ Anymore and The Best of the Lovin’ Spoonful

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Peter, Paul & Mary/Gordon Lightfoot


4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … “Until It’s Time for You to Go,” Buffy Saint-Marie (1967)

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … The Bird Forest String Band, 1973.

ADDITIONALLY: I first heard Virginia Blues master John Jackson play East Coast Blues at a Mike Seeger concert in Alexandria, VA in the spring of 1967. I was 15. I walked out of there a guitar player who’d never touched the instrument. John was a friend for 35 years. He passed in 2002.

In 1986, I began transcribing the recorded songs of Delta Blues legend Robert Johnson. In 1992, “Robert Johnson/At The Crossroads” was published by Hal Leonard Corp. and was heralded as a landmark publication. In 1997, I recorded a DVD on Johnson’ guitar techniques for Starlicks Video, now part of the Hal Leonard Signature Licks series of instructional DVDs.

I’m looking forward to returning to Lena’s. I played it with the Fly By Night String Band (opening for Tom Paxton) in what I think was 1979. Same place, same feel today…

Scott Ainslie returns to Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs at 8pm on Friday (March 20) in support of his new CD, “The Last Shot Got Him,” featuring tunes by Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, Yip Harburg & Harold Arlen, Oliver Wallace & Ned Washington, Fats Waller, Irving Berlin, and, yes, one by Scott Ainslie, too. Tickets are $20.

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1 Comment
  1. michael eck says

    Scott is a brilliant blues musician and keeper of the flame. And a gentleman, too. But here’s the thing, his original music is ridiculously good and never given fair shrift alongside his roots work. Do yourself a favor and check out The Feral Crow, an album featuring many of his own compositions. Wow, shiver-inducing.

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