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Nine O'clock Blues: Aynsley Lister

Tim Ellis
Flickr - Creative Commons

English guitarist and singer/songwriter Aynsley Lister represents a new generation of English Blues.

Aynsley Lister was born in Leicester, England, in 1976, long after the early 1960s English Blues scene had a sound honed by listening to both African-American artists and the Rock-and-Rollers of the 1950s. It was in that way that Buddy Holly had a fair amount of influence on the English Blues sound of the era even, if it was not as significant as the records of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.

By the time Lister started playing guitar at the age of 8 in 1984 the people he listened to like John Mayall and Eric Clapton had begun to show more influence from the traditional Blues of people like Robert Johnson. Aynsley also spent a fair amount of time with the records of Freddie King.

He was 13 when he played his first concert and then went on to work in several different bands led by other people before starting his own band at just 18. Ever the early bird, it was at age 20 that he began his recording career with the album Messin' with the Kid followed a year later by Pay Attention!

It was one year after that, in 1998, that Thomas Ruf, founder of Ruf records, signed Lister. Aynsley’s eponymous album was his first for Ruf and Everything I Need released in 2006 was Lister’s U.S. debu. That release preceded a tour that, combined with the album, led to widespread acclaim in America.

Also included on this week’s show will be Danny Brooks, born Daniel G. P. Middlebrook in Milton, Ontario, Canada, in 1951.

Danny Brooks has managed to bridge the Saturday night-Sunday morning gulf I’ve previously wrote about. He has recorded quite successful Gospel albums and also has recorded Blues, Country, and Rhythm and Blues works.

Brooks’ sound reflects the influences of Gospel, Blues, Bluegrass, Country and Rhythm and Blues. Danny was introduced to the ministry when his father had him and his siblings stand on Toronto street corners reciting scriptures. He rebelled and had a rough life for a period before he went to work in the music industry in the early 1970s after a short stretch in prison in 1972 which he credits with his song writing ability.

Danny Brooks spent a period of time in the late 1980s committed to the Donwood Institute in Toronto where he was treated for alcohol and drug addiction, and it was there that he found his religious faith. Since 1991 he has had a prison ministry.

Brooks, who has been nominated for Canada’s Juno Award for Most Promising Male Vocalist in 1991, had begun his solo recording career in 1990. After a move to Llano, Texas, in late 2012, Danny recorded an album called Texassippi Soul Man which contains his current style mix of soul, blues, gospel, rock and country. That album has cemented Danny Brooks as a fine exponent of Roots music.

Join me this week for music from Texassippi Soul Man by Danny Brooks.

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