Open-Air Blues – Aynsley Lister Band, Rebecca Downes and Keith Thompson
SUNDAY 29TH JULY 2018
Aynsley Lister Band
In hindsight, it’s clear Aynsley Lister 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. Blazing a trail in a bar band from the age of 13 honed his skills, and in 1998 Thomas Ruf signed Aynsley to his label, hooking him up with Steve Ray Vaughan’s producer Jim Gaines to record his self titled debut disc, kicking off a successful relationship with Ruf Records that saw him release 7 albums and 2 DVD’s in ten years. When 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 fuelled 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 clear; music is hard-wired to this DNA. Aynsley is currently touring his latest album , Eyes Wide Open, which is out now on his own label, Straight Talkin’ Records.
Rebecca Downes was born and grew up in Wolverhampton. She first started performing live music when aged 13 and as a teenager wrote and performed her own material. In 2011 she linked up with Steve Birkett. It was a partnership that ‘clicked’ and their core genre was the Blues, but right from the start they have stretched their music in several different directions. Now after the formation of her current band and the release of three very successful albums, the band has chosen to pursue a more strategic approach through a carefully chosen programme of festival and club gigs interspersed with support slots with the likes of King King, Dr Feelgood and Paul Carrack. Winners of the Best Female Vocalist and Best Emerging Artist at the British Blues Awards 2016, and Female Vocalist of the Year Award 2018 at the FORM UK Blues Awards, this Birmingham-based band is a ‘must see’ live act. With Rebecca’s powerful voice to the fore, the 5-piece outfit performs original rock/blues tracks punctuated by a few classic covers. http://www.rebeccadownes.com.
One of five artists nominated in the category for her latest award – Female Vocalist of the Year, Rebecca secured the public online vote to win the award with the result announced at a ceremony in Worthing on 19 May. Rebecca could not be present so the award was collected on her behalf by friends and fans Tracy Bryant and Tracey Lightning and it will be formally presented to Rebecca herself at a gig at the Harlington, Fleet, Hants on Friday 1 June.
This success follows on from her Best Female Vocalist award at the British Blues Awards in 2016. (There was no Blues awards process in 2017).
An pre-recorded acceptance speech by Rebecca was broadcast at the Awards Ceremony and can be seen at https://youtu.be/mAm3LV9qaGQ.
Rebecca said: ‘I am delighted to win the award. My thanks go to the UK Blues Federation, the organisers, FORM, the principal sponsors, the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, who sponsored the Female Vocalist category and everyone who voted for me. My thanks also to my co-songwriter, Steve Birkett, my amazing band – Rick Benton, Dan Clark and Lloyd Daker (as well as our regular deps Nigel Darvill, Aidan Goldstraw and Chris Smith), my producer and sound engineer – Mark Viner Stuart, my manager – Colin Speller and my parents who are my biggest fans. But, more than anything else, my thanks go to the people who come to our gigs, buy our music and support us in every way – without you, we are nothing.’
Rebecca is currently on a brief tour and is performing at the following venues and dates in the next few weeks:
27 May Pizza Express Live, Soho
1 June Harlington, Fleet
15 June Tavistock Wharf
17 June Blues On The Farm, Kent
22 June Forum, Darlington
20 July Upton Blues Festival
29 July Guiting Music Festival
7 Sep Secret Widget Festival, Isle of Wight
8 Sep HRH C.R.O.W.S, Sheffield
Local artist Keith Thompson http://www.densitymusic.com/Solo.htm is a fine blues guitarist and when not appearing with his band, tends to gravitate to acoustic music and the work of many singer songwriters. The blues and rock influence is still very evident on stage. Keith uses a loop station to subtle effect on several numbers, recording guitar parts on the fly, to produce a big sound.