Charlotte Folk Society’s next free gathering will take place Friday, February 13th, 2015, at 7:30pm, at Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Avenue. Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are family-friendly and free. Doors open at 7pm, and it’s suggested that you arrive early. Donations are appreciated and essential to presenting the concert series in the Stella Center. Accessible entry and an elevator are available through the ground-level door. Free parking is available adjacent to the Stella Center. Refreshments, a song circle, and a jam session follow the event.
Scott Ainslie is presented in partnership with the Charlotte Blues Society.
Scott Ainslie is a traditional acoustic blues singer, guitarist, historian, and songwriter with personal roots in the Civil Rights era and a great commitment to cross-cultural exchange. He is a powerful musician, a fine singer, and a masterful storyteller.
Ainslie’s February 13th concert will focus on North Carolina African American blues traditions. As well as performing on his National Steel Guitar, he’ll play instruments from earlier times, such as the Didley Bow and a predecessor of the modern banjo. Concert-goers can expect to be both entertained and informed.
A musician all his life, Ainslie took up guitar at age 15 about five weeks after hearing Virginia bluesman John Jackson play a couple of songs in the middle of one of Mike Seeger’s concerts in Alexandria, Virginia in 1967.
A Phi Beta Kappa and honors graduate of Washington & Lee University, Ainslie also studied with elder musicians on both sides of the color line – in the old-time Southern Appalachian fiddle and banjo traditions, as well as with black gospel and blues musicians.
He transcribed the original recordings and published a book on Delta Blues legend Robert Johnson, Robert Johnson/At The Crossroads (Hal Leonard, 1992), and has an instructional DVD on Johnson’s guitar work, Robert Johnson’s Guitar Techniques (Hal Leonard, 1997).
Ainslie has six solo CDs to his name and maintains an active recording, performing, and teaching schedule that carries him around the country, to Canada, and to Europe. His 2014 release, The Last Shot Got Him, was inspired by the voice of a 1934 Gibson archtop and named for a ragtime blues from Mississippi John Hurt. The recording features blues, songs, and standards popular when the guitar was young, as well as one original song.
Ainslie has spent the past thirty years looking for the right story – the right set of facts, the right bit of history – to introduce a song. He offers us a personality, a moment in history, a vignette to entice us into a song and to give that song a chance to wake and breathe among us like a living thing. And along the way, he has developed a healthy respect and working expertise for the many musical and cultural African retentions that have deep roots in African traditions and yet remain vital and active in America’s culture today.
Monthly second-Friday Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are family-friendly and free; donations are appreciated and essential to holding Gatherings in the Great Aunt Stella Center.
Refreshments, a song circle, jam sessions, and an Appalachian dulcimer group follow the hour-long concert; visitors are welcome to join in or simply listen.
Free parking is available in the 4th St. Mecklenburg County parking deck, between Kings Dr. and McDowell St. Enter from the Stella Center parking lot or from 4th St. Accessible entry and an elevator are available through the ground floor door on the parking lot side of the building.