It’s always a pleasure following an artist over the years as they develop and grow as musicians and Aynsley Lister is no exception. I cant remember exactly which Lister CD I first purchased, it was either ‘Upside Down’ or ‘Equilibrium’ around 2010, and I remember being immediately grabbed by his balls-out unapologetic approach to the blues. What I liked most about his style was that he simply could not be put in one box, He was not a musician that only the blues lovers would appreciate, he had a broader appeal with pop rock infused melodies and hooks that would go round in your head over and over again.
‘Eyes Wide Open’ is again a bag of tricks from Aynsley that will only wet your appetite for more. It is a fine collection of song writing from the opening track right through to the closer. It is an impressive array of guitar slinging that shows his growth from the early days right up to today with this statement album. He has certainly not been resting on his laurels. Years of touring and numerous album releases bring us to a beautifully put together album just crying out for the attention it so rightly deserves.
There are more than a few stand out tracks on this album, one of which is ‘Il Grande Mafioso’ with its quirky style and beautifully delivered vocals. There is such a big hook on this tune that I just could not get it out of my head for days. ‘Wont Be Taken Down’ for me just shows Listers growth as a songwriter and musician, what a deliciously penned track and solo work, that sets a very high bar indeed, comparable to the big players like Bonamassa – his touch and technique here is exquisite. And it was a moment of clarity where the penny dropped, so if in any way I had felt there was something missing from earlier releases, with ‘Eyes Wide Open’ there were definitely no such doubts.
‘Time’ shows off Aynsley’s pop rock qualities that will certainly grab him audiences far and wide with it’s easy on the ear melody. ‘Kalina’ is like chocolate melting in your mouth, a gorgeous tune with guitar work to make even the most avid player covet that touch and technique, Aynsley surpasses himself with the poise of a player well beyond his years.
‘Eyes Wide Open’ is another great album from a very consistent UK guitar player. It is a powerful statement that unleashes thirteen quality tracks showing a range of diversity few blues players today are brave enough to display. Great vocals, song writing & guitar playing to take your breath away – this is definitely a must for your collection. You can catch Aynsley on tour from September through to December across the UK and Europe, covering 41 dates and 7 countries. ‘Eyes Wide Open’ is released on October 7th on Straight Talking Records.
1 All Of Your Love
2 Everything I Have To give
3 Il Grande Mafioso
4 Won’t Be Taken Down
7 Troubled Soul – Intro
9 Handful Of Doubt
10 Right As Rain
11 Other Part Of Me
13 Hold You To It – Bonus Track