Ainslie says things haven’t been the same since he saw Virginia bluesman John Jackson playing in the middle of a Mike Seeger concert at Groveton High in 1967. He took up the guitar a month later and has never put it down.
From community concert series and local schools to the Kennedy Center and the renowned Empire Music Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Ainslie plays and speaks of the music with passion and authority. With more than 35 years of scholarship and 45 playing guitar, Ainslie brings a beguiling mix of the African and American roots music to the stage, in story and song. With five CDs; a teaching DVD on the guitar techniques of Delta Blues legend Robert Johnson, and a book on Johnson’s music “Robert Johnson/At The Crossroads” to his credit as a performer and a teacher Ainslie continues to present programs that are engaging, vital, and entertaining.
In addition to his music, this year Ainslie has been active with other fundraising efforts in Brattleboro and on the Internet to aid the victims of Tropical Storm Irene. Within hours of the flooding of Flat Street in Brattleboro, Ainslie had edited his own video footage of the torrent running through town and put up an appeal for donations on YouTube for local aid organizations. Funds were received from as far away as the United Kingdom and New Orleans, a city, as Ainslie observes, “that knows something about the devastation that high water can bring to people’s lives.” Ainslie also helped produce “Get Up 8,” a benefit concert at the New England Youth Theater, one of the few businesses on Flat Street to have survived the flooding relatively unscathed (thanks to the flood gates that were installed when the building was erected).
The show on Saturday, September 15, at Jamaica Town Hall (Route 30) begins at 7 pm. Admission is $10, and a portion of the concert’s proceeds will be donated to the Stratton Foundation, specifically for Jamaica’s continued recovery from Tropical Storm Irene.
For more information about the show call (802) 896-6810.