Even though 8 Ball Aitken is just now releasing his first album in the states, the eight albums (and myriad videos) in his award-winning Australian catalog offer further proof that you don’t have to be American to deliver authentic Americana music. As his growing legions of non-Aussie fans also confirm, his bluesified, swampified, countrified southern rock feels right at home on stages in Texas (his newly adopted home), or Nashville, Ontario or Amsterdam.
His self-titled new album perfectly conveys his propensity for making music with “a lot of attitude” — and fun. With song titles such as “Seven Bucks an Hour in a Chicken Suit,” “Witness Protection,” “Outback Booty Call,” and the #1 Australian CMR hit single, “She’s Going To Mexico, I’m Going To Jail,” it’s filled with what he characterizes as “party music for the real hillbillies.”
“If the girls don’t dance, it ain’t rock ’n’ roll,” Aitken insists. Doing his best to make sure his audiences get on their feet, this accomplished slide player and frequent one-man band even pulls out a variety of homemade “junk” guitars crafted from recycled parts. “The Nivea wrinkle cream can guitar is a chick magnet,” he claims. “It makes you look 20 years younger.”
But the former fruit-picker isn’t joking when he says, “One of my happiest achievements is having over a thousand people say to me, ‘That’s the most fun I’ve ever had at a gig.’ To make people happy comes above everything else.”