Care For All CD
to benefit the Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign

Scott Ainslie:
Hard Times Come Again No More

Beguiled by Si Kahn into helping to produce and play a couple of concerts in support of the Healthcare Is A Human Right campaign of the Vermont Workers' Center, Scott became the initiator and then producer of Care For All. Having come of age during the Civil Rights Era; Ainslie now makes his home in Brattleboro, Vermont. When he is not touring, he teaches locally and is actively involved with local arts groups and progressive politics. He says, "Care For All has been a labor of love, for the music and musicians, but also for those we will help live when we succeed."

Hard Times Come Again No More, one of the last songs published by Stephen Foster, has its roots in Foster's early experiences in the Black church. His family did not go to a church in the early 1800s in Pittsburgh, something quite rare at the time, but they thought young Stephen should have  a grounding in Christianity and sent him off to church with their borrowed Black maid. At 2-3 years of age, the youngster was bouncing on the lap of some grandmother in the heart of the Black gospel church. We know from Foster's letters and notes that four of his songs were built on hooks that he heard in Black churches and gospel music. Hard Times is one of them.

"I have closed probably more than a thousand shows with this song. I've sung it at the funerals of too many friends," Ainslie says. "It is a song of authentic suffering and equally authentic hope."

With Ainslie's lifelong concern for justice and fairness, Care For All is a natural extension of his social activism.

"When I was developing a conscience – which developmentally we do at ten or eleven years old – I was watching white policemen on TV beating very well-dressed and well-behaved black people, turning police dogs loose on them, and blasting them with firehoses," Ainslie notes. "You had to decide in your own heart whether you were going to put yourself in front of – or behind – those hoses and the dogs."

Ainslie says, "I could never put myself behind the dogs."

With five solo compact discs of traditional and original songs and blues, Ainslie is also the author of Robert Johnson/At The Crossroads (1992)---a book of transcriptions of the recordings of this Mississippi Blues legend with complete annotated lyrics, a brief Johnson biography and historical notes, and the instructor in Robert Johnson: Signature Licks (1997) available at Ainslie's latest CD, Thunder's Mouth, has garnered rave reviews in Downbeat Magazine and SingOut! and was awarded a TAMMIE for “Best Blues Album of 2008” by the Times-Argus in Burlington, VT. (See:

Ainslie maintains an active schedule teaching, leading workshops, writing, recording, and performing. His feature lesson on the playing of Robert Johnson appears in the November 2009 issue ofAcoustic Guitar Magazine. The lesson with TAB and video instruction is online with links to it from and