14 November 1976 (age 44)
Leicester, England, United Kingdom
Aynsley Lister (born 14 November 1976 in Leicester) is a British blues-rock guitarist/singer and songwriter.
Lister started playing guitar at 8 and played his first concert in a bar band at the age of 13. He had learned guitar by playing along to his father's old 45s of Freddie King, John Mayall and Eric Clapton. By the time he was 18, having already been in several bands, he formed his own, which recorded two albums Messin' With The Kid (1996) and Pay Attention! (1997). Three numbers written by Lister, on the second album, attracted the attention of Ruf Records' owner Thomas Ruf. In 1998 they signed a record deal and Lister recorded his first major album, Aynsley Lister, produced by Jim Gaines. The tracks were primarily Lister compositions, and the album featured a guest appearance by Walter Trout. The album led to him touring Europe and working with some of the top current blues players.
While Lister's music is blues based, his own material incorporates contemporary influences with harder rhythms and guitar work, reminiscent of early Eric Clapton. Lister was the only British artist to be featured in Classic Rock's 2007 "Top 10 Contemporary Blues Artists"; alongside The White Stripes, The Black Keys, John Mayer, Jon Spencer, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Trucks and the North Mississippi Allstars.
After his first album Lister began opening for artists such as Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, John Mayall and contemporaries such as Bryan Adams and Fun Lovin Criminals. Having become better known, he now headlines major festivals in Europe. He has twice played the Heitere Open Air in Switzerland to 12,000 people and in 2006 he played the main stage at The Bayfront Blues Festival, MN. Later that year he was invited to sit in with Delbert McClinton at The Pinedale Blues Festival in Wyoming, where Delbert kept Lister on stage for the whole second half of his show. In May 2009, Lister played to over 16,000 people whilst opening for the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd on the UK dates of their God and Guns tour, performed a headline slot at Glastonbury in 2010 and during the same year, shared the stage with ZZ Top at the Skånevik Bluesfestival in Norway.
Lister has also recorded with Jesse Davey from the English blues band The Hoax on Everything I Need (2000) and All Or Nothing (2002) both produced by Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers, Catatonia). Everything I Need was his debut US release in 2006, in preparation for a US tour, and received critical acclaim. Lister's fourth studio album, and his first to only contain original material, was 2007's Upside Down which Lister produced himself.
In June 2008 Lister changed to ARM Management and signed to Manhaton Records in August 2008, releasing Equilibrium in March 2009. Equilibrium was produced by Steve Darrel Smith and features Robbie McIntosh, Paul Beavis and Simon Johnson. Following "Equilibrium", 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 released on Manhaton Records in 2010 and consequently voted 'Best Live Album' in the 2011 Blues Matters Writers Poll.
For the tenth album of his career to date, "Home" (2013), Aynsley has flown the nest of being under contract with anyone but himself. "Home" is the debut release for his own label "Straight Talkin' Records," set up in partnership with his fiancée and manager, Stephanie Wildey in the same year.
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