"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."
COVID 19 RESTRICTIONS AND TOUR CANCELLATION
The constant evolution and growth as a songwriter and touring musician that I have forged over the decade as a solo artist, 2020 had all the promise of amazing adventures and opportunity as a solo musician to embark on my biggest tour to date promoting my new EP "Swimming Up Waterfalls".
I had been contracted to return to Ayers Rock Resort (Yulara NT) for my second 3 month Residency (6 nights a week), followed by a quick stop back in SA for a couple gigs, then had my maiden voyage into WA and following the coast around to the Top End and NT planned for July and August, then over to far North QLD for another maiden journey from Pt Douglas heading south back into NSW during September; with the remainder of 2020 being planned to return to Vic, Tasmania and SA, as well as my first international tour to New Zealand.
But like so many thousands of artists musicians, venues, hosp staff, technicians, etc etc that have seen our industry and ways of earning our income dissolve ... and no clear indication of when and what capacity it will evolve and reshape post COVID... We would all like to wish we could reset the previous few months of constant turmoil, challenges, threats and disruptions to life; however ---
We charge on the best we can with what we have to work with, commence that climb back and support each other through this opportunity for innovative and creative thought, and community spirit. There is hope and some rays of light being shone.
It is warming my heart to see venues re open for live music across NT and QLD and friends being able to perform again and promote upcoming gigs...not to mention the benefit for venues and staff and community.
While it will be a challenge to regain the ground and momentum I had lost, is along with thousands of other musos out of work.. to find and confirm gigs over the next 6 months - so am thankful already to the venues that have got back to me to align dates - hope to see you somewhere across the country soon - please keep an eye on the gigs page for details as they are confirmed.
Peace, Love, Unity, Music
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 Tamworth Country Music Festival (NSW), Bendigo Blues & Roots Festival (VIC), Nimbin Roots Festival (NSW) Ocean Street World Festival (QLD) Byron Bay Guitar Festival (NSW) 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