FORMER Mareeba local and musician 8 Ball Aitken will be making the trip north as he is set to grace the stage at the Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns and the ORB in Atherton next week.
Aitken was born and raised in Mareeba however has called Nashville, Tennessee his home for the past eight years.
Otherwise known as ‘Music City’, Nashville is home to some of the greatest country music and blues singers in the world, and it has been there that Aitken has been able to hone his trade by collaborating with some of the most respected professionals in the industry.
Aitken’s Cairns performances will be as part of The Reef Stampede, an annual celebration that brings together professional bull riders and provides attendees with exclusive meet and greet opportunities with the bull riders themselves.
Aitken said he always cherishes the opportunity to come back to Far North Queensland and perform in front of family and friends.
“I’m really excited to get back to the region and perform; I still have so many friends in the area who are excited to see us play,” he said.
“I will be performing my new album Swamp Blues II, which I have been working on since last year.”
Aitken will be hoping Swamp Blues II will be as great a success as his last album Swamp Blues, which garnered him two Australian Blues Awards nominations.
“I was lucky enough to record my past two albums with some of the best blues musicians in Nashville,” he said.
“Most notably of which was J.J Johnson from the Tedeschi Trucks Band – he is definitely one of the best in the game.”
Aitken encouraged visitors to come along to his performance next weekend, noting that the Reef Stampede is a “celebration and party for those who love rodeo, music and a good time”.
For those interested in attending, 8 Ball Aitken will be playing at the Reef Casino at 8pm on Thursday, June 13, 9:30pm on Friday, June 14, 10:30pm on Saturday June 15, and at the ORB in Atherton at 3pm on Sunday, June 16.
For more information, please visit www.reefcasino.com.au.