Scott Ainslie | You Better Lie Down

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Blues: Acoustic Blues Spiritual: Spirituals Moods: Featuring Guitar
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You Better Lie Down

by Scott Ainslie

An album full of great singing: gospel, work songs and blues from Ainslie's fieldwork informants along with a lovely mix of traditional blues and R & B. Ainslie's arrangement of the worksong title cut and Wade In The Water are moving and wonderful.
Genre: Blues: Acoustic Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. You Better Lie Down
3:56 $0.99
2. Don't Let the Devil Ride
3:13 $0.99
3. Big Fat Mama
3:30 $0.99
4. Pay Day
3:15 $0.99
5. I'll Be Rested
3:08 $0.99
6. Broken Levee Blues
4:16 $0.99
7. Phonograph Blues
3:26 $0.99
8. Losing Faith in You
2:52 $0.99
9. Bring It On Home to Me
3:20 $0.99
10. When You've Got a Good Friend
3:14 $0.99
11. I Will Trust in the Lord
2:55 $0.99
12. Wade in the Water
3:35 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
What a title for a blues and gospel record! "You Better Lie Down" is a collection of songs learned from Ainslie's fieldwork and the field recordings of Dwight Devane, formerly the State Folklorist of Florida, who followed quite literally in the footsteps of Zora Neale Hurston.

From a little heard B. B. King song (Losing Faith In You) to a stripped down bluesy version of Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home to Me", this album talks to the brain stem. This is very emotional stuff for Ainslie and for the rest of us.

Ainslie plays acoustic guitars, his vintage Nationals, mandolin, and fretless electric bass and sings his heart out. The gospel here is that non-evangelical, soulful stuff that lies so close to the blues traditions. And Ainslie's notes about Willie Malloy's "I Will Trust In The Lord" are not to be missed. (Check out for those).

Ainslie's work as an acoustic blues performer has a different spin from most. In addition to good chops on slide and ragtime blues guitar and strong vocals; he's bringing twenty years of scholarship, and fieldwork with older blues and gospel musicians. His live shows include enough of the stories and background on the tunes to allow the songs to take their full-size in the experience of the audience. People go home slyly better educated about the history and genesis of the music, and I believe--knowing something of their origins--are moved more deeply by the tunes.

In addition to his performing life, Ainslie wrote 'the book' on Mississippi Blues legend Robert Johnson, "Robert Johnson/At The Crossroads" which contained complete transcriptions of his recordings, complete annotated lyrics with all the black idioms explained, a biography and historical notes introducing each song. It lasted a decade in the fickle music press and he's hoping to have it back in a second edition in 2005.

Ainslie also has a teaching video, "Robert Johnson's Guitar Techniques," on Starlicks 'Master Sessions' series and three blues CDs ["Jealous of the Moon", "Terraplane", and "You Better Lie Down". He tours widely playing festivals, clubs, community concert series, and works in educational settings as a visiting artist with programs on the African roots of American music, using live performances of Delta and Ragtime blues, gospel, and jazz to illustrate the history of American roots and pop music.

Web resources are below, including two archived performances at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage from October, 2002 and July, 2003 at the site, and archived editions of his BluesNotes emailings, as well as a cut from his upcoming CD, "The Feral Crow" (October, 2004) are at

Thanks for your time,

Cattail Music, Ltd.

Websites with reviews, bio, et cetera:

Archived live performances at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage: programs/millennium/search_results.cfm? w=500



to write a review

Michel Chesnais

Ce CD est une pure merveille pour tout amateur de country blues . Scott est un fabuleux interprète et guitariste et je crois un grand admirateur de Robert Jonhson.


Brilliant, honest, spare and elegant
This CD is very naked and sparse. Every nuance of Ainslie's
powerful voice and terrific guitar and dobro playing are
revealed. For some artists, that would be catastrophic. For
Ainslie, it provides an unparalleled experience of
emotional intimacy with the man and his music.