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My Countrytown: 8 Ball Aitken - Glass House Mountains, Queensland

17 May 2022 | 3:24 pm | Staff Writer

To get to know 8 Ball Aitken a little better, we’ve asked what he loves about the Glass House Mountains, Queensland.

8 Ball Aitken

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Regional towns are in our blood here at CountryTown! From Ballarat to Toowomba, Bendigo to Tamworth, we love the pubs, the people and the places that make Australia tick. But most of all, we love the amazing country musicians our regional centres produce, like 8 Ball Aitken.

Known for his fusion of Aussie blues and country music, 8 Ball has toured the world for more than a decade performing his swampy-blues-rock across twenty countries to date. He’s earned a loyal fanbase from his live shows and internet videos, while paying his dues as a singer, songwriter, slide-guitarist and producer.  

Born in Brisbane, 8 Ball relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, USA in 2012 and worked for nine years with many of the best in the blues business today. He won second place in the 2021 International New Orleans Cigar Box Guitar Festival hosted by blues woman Samantha Fish. He’s also the recipient of two Queensland Music Awards and received an APRA nomination in 2009.

His newest release (his 13th) is the self-produced, laidback soul album titled Heart and Soul. Released last March, Heart and Soul includes the Grammy winning drummer/producer Tom Hambridge, saxophone legend Buddy Leach, Sydney soul singer Taya Chani and 8 Ball’s younger brother Dillion James on Hammond organ and piano. Michael Caruana, Tim Carter and indie singer Pepper Jane also guested on some tracks. Heart And Soul follows his previous album release Ice Cream Man, which hit #1 on the Australian Blues & Roots Charts in March 2021. 

To get to know 8 Ball Aitken a little better, we’ve asked what he loves about the Glass House Mountains, Queensland.


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1. Coming Home

About a year ago, I moved back to Australia after nine years in the United States. Nashville, Tennessee was my hometown, and I loved the time I spend in ‘Music City’ writing, recording and playing with so many talented musicians. I also lived in Austin for three years. Those are two of the coolest music cities on planet Earth. My new hometown for the last year has been Glass House Mountains, Queensland and I love it here too. 

2. The Glass House Mountains

The Glass House Mountains are one of the Sunshine Coast's natural wonders. The magnificent rocky outcrops are actually remnants of volcanic activity that occurred more than 25 million years ago. People come from all around the world to hike the tracks. We climb them often too. Nature always puts on a show. You can hike a trail at a different time of day, at a different season, with a different friend and you’ll experience the same place in a different light each time. This place is full of natural wonder. 

3. Jinibara and the Kabi Kabi people

The traditional owners of the Glass House Mountains are the Jinibara and the Kabi Kabi people. Jinibara have Native Title over the western part of the Glass House Mountains, taking in the peaks of Beerwah, Tunbubudla and Coonowrin. The Kabi Kabi (Gubbi Gubbi) have a registered Native Title claim over the eastern part, which includes the peaks of Tibrogargan, Ngungun, Coochin Hills and Beerburrum.

4. Community

When we moved to Glass House Mountains, we quickly found a wonderful community of music lovers and gardeners. We have monthly house concerts in our backyard that are drawing quite a crowd. We’re keeping the original music alive in our little town underneath a 100-year-old mango tree in our yard. There’s a lot of alternative music loving folks around here and I’m lucky that my fans don’t mind travelling for a gig. 

5. Fruit Farming

The main industry in our little town is farming. The main crop grown here is pineapples. They smell fantastic. We walk past the trucks loaded with huge crates that are about to be sent off to the stores. They are often $1 each by the side of the road. That sure beats the big city prices. When you drink your pineapple cocktails, think of us. We also grow our own bunches of bananas in the backyard. Cue all the Southerners making jokes about Queenslanders. We don’t mind because we spend most Winter days wearing a t-shirt and loving the tropical life. We really get incredible food fresh produce here without the middleman. We love to support local business.  


Catch 8 Ball Aitken live this weekend alongside The James Morrison Motown Experience, Robben Ford, Karise Eden, Emma Donovan and The Putbacks, Hussy Hicks, Karl S. Williams and more this weekend at Blues On Broadbeach (May 19-22). 

And keep up to date with everything 8 Ball Aitken and follow him on Facebook here.

For more of our My CountryTown series, check out here.