Aynsley ListerWhen explosive natural ability collides with fiery, emotionally charged compositions, the result is Aynsley Lister; an incredible guitarist whose brand of blues-based rock delivers contemporary song writing fueled with the kind of heart and soul that’s missing from so much modern music. Whether passionately writing and recording his own material or mesmerising audiences at his live shows one thing is abundantly clear: music is hard-wired to his DNA and flows from his fingertips like sonic bolts of lightning. With over 86,000 albums sold, lashings of critical acclaim and years of high profile touring, Lister’s resumé speaks for itself and firmly secures his position as a leading light in the resurgence of British blues-infused music.
(Born 14 November 1976)
(Born 14 November 1976)
In hindsight, it's clear Aynsley was born to be a musician. As a child he was hypnotised by his dad's old guitar and at the age of eight was finally gifted his very own. The moment he held that first six-string the outcome was inevitable; he was going to be a guitarist. Blessed with the coolest dad in town, regularly spinning Hendrix, Cream, Fleetwood Mac and a whole host of bewitching blues for his spellbound son, Aynsley taught himself to play with relentless dedication and a precociously attuned ear, spending hours copying his favourite records note for note. Peter Green, Albert King, Clapton and Kossoff weren't just his heroes; they became his teachers.
Blazing a trail in a bar band from the age of 13 honed his skills. By 18 he'd started singing and had also formed his first group, during which time he landed a dream support slot with Buddy Guy and released two low key CD's featuring his earliest original material. In 1998 those self-penned titles caught the attention of Ruf Records owner Thomas Ruf, who immediately signed Aynsley and hooked him up with Stevie Ray Vaughan's producer Jim Gaines. With a maturity that belied his years, the self titled debut announced Aynsley Lister as a major new talent and kicked off a successful relationship with Ruf Records, releasing 7 albums and 2 DVD's in ten years. Their influence, coupled with his dynamite live shows and intense touring schedule, earned high profile support slots with established artists like Walter Trout, John Mayall and Robert Cray, whilst rousing festival appearances alongside artists like the Fun Lovin' Criminals cemented his standing as an artist whose work, although rooted in blues, transcended the genre with a fiery modern sound that was eagerly embraced by fans of rock, pop, soul and acoustic music alike. In 2007 Aynsley was the only British artist to be named in Classic Rock magazine's "Top 10 Contemporary Blues Artists", alongside John Mayer, Derek Trucks and Joe Bonamassa.
In 2008 Aynsley's huge crossover potential saw him sign to Manhaton Records, where he released the best two albums of his career to date. Produced by Steve Darrel Smith and featuring Paul McCartney guitarist Robbie Macintosh, 2009's 'Equilibrium' exposed Lister in his best ever form, throwing all his musical influences into a delicious melting pot that delivered sultry melodies, full throttle hard rock riffage and introspective ballads. 'Equilibrium' received fantastic reviews and stormed into Classic Rock’s Top 50 Albums of 2009. The subsequent tour saw Aynsley playing to sold out shows to over 16,000 people whilst opening for the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd, after which he and his band relocated to the Tower Arts Centre and with the tape rolling, nailed a cracking rendition of their high-octane live set to produce the storming 'Tower Sessions' record, which was consequently voted ‘Best Live Album’ in the 2011 Blues Matters Writers Poll.
With his stock firmly in the ascendancy Aynsley is currently hard at work on his next record, intent on creating the finest album of his career. He's wisely chosen to refine the material the best way he knows how; by playing it live. “When you record songs in the studio and then go out and tour, they evolve and take on a life of their own. I want to capture that on the new record and want a whole album of songs that translate to the live setting as well as being well written enough to engage the listener of an album”. The eagerly anticipated new material, slated for release in early 2013, will be distributed on his manager's label as he's sagely decided to take control of his career by bringing everything in-house, following other successful artists who've cut out the record companies with astonishing results. Needless to say, a tour in support of that album will surely follow, and that promises to be something special, not just for the fans, but for the main man himself:
“Music is a release for me. When I play I get lost in it and it's a very happy place to be” - Aynsley Lister