By Mike O’Cull
Top guitar man, vocalist, and songwriter Aynsley Lister blends life’s daily struggles with an exciting style of blues/rock on his latest studio effort Along For The Ride.
The record drops November 11th, 2022 on Lister’s own Straight Talkin’ Records Ltd label. It’s an excellent set that finds the talented, award-winning guitarist reaching way down into his blues influences and letting them mix freely with his songwriting skills and contemporary rock and roll sensibilities.
The tunes on Along For The Ride run the gamut from chill ballads to anthemic arena rockers and show Lister at the peak of his powers. This is Lister’s eighth solo album and he clearly has his style dialed in at this point. Both his guitar work and vocals serve his songs admirably. Remaining song-focused gives Lister strong brand and identity.
Aynsley Lister is a British Blues Award-winning guitarist who has found a legion of fans for his unique style that lives somewhere between The Black Keys and 70s Clapton. He has opened for classic blues artists like Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, and John Mayall as well as contemporary stars like Bryan Adams and Fun Lovin’ Criminals.
These days, he plays major festivals around the world including Heitere Open Air, Glastonbury, Skånevik Bluesfestival, The Pinedale Blues Festival, and The Bayfront Blues Festival. He’s carved out a proper niche for himself by treading the line between roots music and modern rock in a way few others are able to do and he has the goods needed to win over any crowd he encounters.
From the moment you hear the heavy blues intro to the moody opening track “Amazing,” Lister’s originality stands tall. The song proceeds to develop into a chugging, mid-tempo rocker loaded with big vocals and tasty guitar lines. The studio lineup of Lister on guitar and vocals, Stuart Ross on bass, Russ Parker on drums, Ross Stanley on Hammond, Scott McKeon on guitars/percussion, and Gavin Conder on backing vocals is mighty, indeed, and does a fine job balancing chops and intuition.
“Made Up My Mind”
“Bide My Time” is melodic and melancholy, telling a familiar tale of the growing distance between two people. It’s an ethereal, atmospheric rock song that will impress on all fronts. Lister is blessed with the gift of nuance and doesn’t have to always shout to create powerful music. Aynsley Lister is as much a storyteller as he is a guitar player, that’s certain, and his songs offer us both sides of himself in equal portions.
The single “Made Up My Mind” has a strong Hendrix influence that gets folded into Lister’s singer-songwriter approach. He rips out some serious guitar licks on it but also delivers a radio-hit chorus that’s just as cool as his riffs. His guitar tone on this cut is monstrous, too, and it adds a physical presence to every note he plays. This one hits the target dead-on and will quickly get you up and moving.
Lister gets soulful and uplifting on the emotive ballad “Cast A Light.” It’s the most delicate moment on Along For The Ride and lets Aynsley bring out his softer side. His vocals are practically whispered and his lead playing is profoundly melodic and reassuring. You can hear the classic R&B at its core but Lister makes it a comforting moment for all of us living in the current world.
Other outstanding songs on Along For The Ride include “World Is Falling,” “Masquerade,” and “No One Else But You.” Aynsley Lister is an open ocean of songwriting talent and he has the vocal and guitar chops to make you want to hear more. Listen once and you’ll be a fan.
Order link for Along For the Ride Here