THE PRESS RELEASE: “8 Ball Aitken grew up in North Queensland, Australia listening to cassettes of the blues masters John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, R.L Burnside, Tony Joe White, JJ Cale. When 8 Ball Aitken drove his car full of guitars out to Wimberley, Texas in September 2017, he was ready for his rootsiest and most credible legit blues album to date. Swamp Blues was the result. But there was still unfinished Swamp Blues business, so 8 Ball Aitken called on Dave Percefull from Yellow Dog Studios to lock in another session. 18 months later the same crew were back together working on the next batch of songs. Swamp Blues 2 was recorded by the Blanco River in the gorgeous Hill Country community of Wimberley, Texas. 8 Ball Aitken sang and played all the guitars joined by JJ Johnson (drummer from Tedeschi Trucks Band / John Mayer), Austin bass guitar legend Glenn Fukunaga, the deep vocals of Guthrie Kennard, and the sweet vocals of Julie Meridan. 8 Ball Aitken penned all the songs except for two co-writes with Guthrie Kennard (Tremolo Rain & Living On The River), and one with Australian Harmony James (The Bed That You Made).”
MY TWO CENTS: I have a confession to make: I never heard the first Swamp Blues album. Thankfully, I suspect it’s not like The Matrix or anything. You probably don’t need to know the original to appreciate Australian singer-guitarist 8 Ball Aitken’s authentically gritty, earthy brand of blues-rock. Sure, he ain’t doing nothing that ain’t been done before. But from his gnarly licks to his weathered rasp, it’s clear he’s spent some quality time learning the licks and tricks of the masters. It’s equally clear he came to play. And plays to win. All told, that’s more than enough to make this a sequel worth catching.