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When you look at Aynsley Lister’s musical CV, it’s hard not to be impressed. After almost 25-years in the business, it’s clear that this is a real-life rock veteran who’s been there, done that and got the t-shirt.

Playing Glastonbury, selling 100,000 albums and sharing the stage with Lynyrd Skynyrd are just a few of the things written on the 45-year-old’s extensive list of musical achievements.

Picture: Aynsley Lister

Since being signed in 1998, he’s built up a reputation of being one of the best contemporary blues guitarists in the world, touring extensively, and racking up rave reviews.

MOJO Magazine described his playing as a “fire hazard”, and the Times simply labelled him ‘superb’.

Comparisons have even been made between Lister and Eric Clapton – a guitar hero he grew up listening to thanks to his dad’s “incredible” and extensive record collection.

However, despite his musical success, the Markfield resident remains incredibly humble. When asked to pick out a single career highlight, he states that simply being able to make a living out of music, is the thing which stands head and shoulders above the rest.

“It’s always good to hear nice things and to meet people that you’re a fan of, however getting to perform my music and having people come out to watch me play – that’s the thing that really has me pinching myself,” he told Pukaar.

“I feel lucky that the stars aligned for me, and that I’ve been able to make a career out of doing something I love. I’ve known lots of talented people – friends who just didn’t get that break, so I’m incredibly grateful.”

Lister was 22, and working an admin job in Beaumont Leys, when he was contacted by ‘Ruff Records’, a German indie label who wanted to sign him, thanks to the significant hype which had developed as a result of his live performances.

He’d made a name for himself playing blues/rock at open mic nights across the Midlands, and many considered him to be one of the most exciting guitarists of his time.

“There weren’t many 16-year-olds playing that kind of music, so I guess I stood out,” he said.   

On the advice of the label, Lister quit his job and embarked on an extensive tour of Europe – playing 250 gigs in a year. And he hasn’t looked back since.

The talented musician is still as passionate as ever, and showing no signs of slowing down, as he promotes his eighth studio album – ‘Along for the Ride’.

“It’s my most personal and satisfying to date,” he said of the 13-track compilation, which was released under his own label ‘Straight Talkin’ Records’.

“It’s everything I am as a person – a melting pot of everything that makes me tick, and there’s something on there for everyone – songs about love and loss…

“It’s a journey about life,” he added. “Everyone can listen and relate to it I think, and that’s what I’m most proud of.”

To find out more, or to listen, visit:

By Louise Steel