"what makes Craig Atkins such a fantastic ambassador, he can gain inspiration from anything and everything, it’s all sound. Craig breaks down the walls between genres that don’t get along and instruments that can’t agree and forces them to sit together at lunch and chat. And it sounds right."
Award Winning Multi-Instrumentalist Craig Atkins is a 'one-man band' songwriter and performer originally from Riverland SA (Meru Country) and in Adelaide SA (Kuarna Country), that regularly tours the country with his set up consisting of various Acoustic Guitars, Lap Slide, Cigar Box Guitars, Yidakis (Didgeridoos), Harmonica, Foot Percussion and Loop & Effect pedals.
With influences such as Paul Kelly, Joe Purdy, Harry Manx, Xavier Rudd and numerous Blues Masters to name but a few, Craig's live performances weave through various styles of Roots, Blues, Folk, World & Country, with dynamics ranging from chilled finger-picking folk stories, to delta slide blues, through to rollicking folk foot tappers and stomping jumping roots, with lyrical content covering his aspects of life, love and loss and observations of the world we all live in.
With solo performances (and various other musical projects) at Nannup Music Festival (WA), Nukara Music Festival (WA), Tamworth Country Music Festival (NSW), Bendigo Blues & Roots Festival (VIC), Nimbin Roots Festival (NSW), Ocean Street World Festival (QLD), Byron Bay Guitar Festival (NSW), Newport Folk Festval (VIC), Peats Ridge Festival (NSW), Port Fairy Festival (VIC), Caloundra Music Festival (QLD), Wide Open Space Festival (NT), Gorgeous Festival (SA) and solo supports for Steve Kilbey (The Church) and Donovan Frankenreiter (USA) to name a few, Craig Atkins is a passionate and honest musician that should not be missed as he continues to tour across Australia.
Growing up in Riverland South Australia (Meru Country in Ngarrindjeri Nation) with Dad who played button accordion, brothers playing guitar and drums, and the family going out to see other friends performing, music has always been a constant flow in life. A small town called "Winkie" was home until 1980 after my father passed, my family moved to the next town of "Berri", where I lived and grew up into my early twenties. The first real band I was part of and played my first live gig was Bassist in a 5 piece Grunge Rock band called "Gutter Ballet".
I moved to Adelaide SA (Kuarna Country) '97 to focus on career path within State Government (Administrative) for 15 years and had a small hiatus for a few years perfroming. The itch came back and I played bass for Alt Folk Trio "Missing Spencer" Percussion for "Simon Peter", "Joe Man Murphy", "The Timbers" and "Spencer Jane", as well as being a sought after session percussionist in Adelaide for live and recording sessions for some of Interstate and Adelaide's premier musicians. Music is a passion that grew from as young as I can remember, and has continued into a long and diverse journey through writing, performing, collaborating, mentoring and over the past 5 years into teaching guitar, bass, Didgeridoo, Ukulele, Slide, Cajon, DJembe and Handpan.
There has always been a yearning to see more of this Country and perform for and meet new people, so in mid 2016 decided it was time for a sea change - and commenced planning on relocating to Byron Bay NSW (Bundjalung Country). This involved a drastic downsizing by giving away a lot of items to friends and charities, selling a few others, and packing the van with as many instruments I needed and a suitcase of clothes and set off for a 2 week coastal roadtrip through Victoria and East NSW headed for the Northern Rivers of NSW that I now call home - that being a beautiful home on 29 Acres of Hinterland Forest waking up to Kookaburras and creative inspiration for writing and performing.
It was a challenge to move half way across the country not really knowing anyone, and having to re-establish myself in a new market, but after 2 years of hard work 2018 has started to yield some strong musical relationships, exciting projects and percussion collaborations and regular East Coast regional tours.
*Winner of the 2014 Adelaide Blues & Roots Association’s (ARBA) ‘Best Solo Roots’
Finalist for ARBA Roots Album Awards 2015.
Finalist Australian Roots Awards 2018