Thursday, January 26, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Aaron Saxon – A Musician For Life

Aaron Saxon considers himself a local having been adopted by a town that he says has one of the healthiest music scenes he’s ever seen.

Aaron first visited Airlie Beach in 2002 on the way to the Whitsunday Islands to perform.

He was living in New Zealand at the time and would often return to the heart of the Whitsundays.

“That’s how I knew, when I came back to Australia, where I was going to go,” he said.

“There’s a very healthy music scene and good people up here.”

Aaron’s been based in Airlie since 2015 and has been playing music professionally since he left school.

It was a musical upbringing that first inspired him to pick up a guitar.

“My parents had a huge vinyl collection, so they would be playing rhythm and blues and some jazz and some old soul stuff, all kinds of stuff really, so I was just growing up hearing that,” Aaron said.

Music ran in Aaron’s family, the family record collection consisting of Bill Haley, Louis Prima, Fats Domino, Sam Cook and Creedence Clearwater Revival who all continue to inspire Aaron today.

“They would just be on high rotation, turned up really loud so it was all part of our journey as a family,” he said.

“They all have (music) in them and for some reason I was really drawn to it and got my first guitar in year 12 and since then I haven’t really put it down, I just felt like it was the right thing to do.”

After decades of touring and performing across the world, both solo and with bands, Airlie’s intimate yet thriving music scene drew Aaron in.

“It’s a very small street and there’s a lot of live music condensed into that one street,” he said.

“As a punter, they can walk up and down the street and see a variety of different musicians and different acts happening almost seven days a week.

“As a musician, it’s a good place to be.

“There doesn’t seem to really be another town or street like it.”

As Aaron looks to settle down in Airlie Beach, he hopes to establish his own music studio and plant his roots.

“After doing what I’ve done for years and years and years, just constantly travelling, it’s a refreshing change to just take a breath,” he said.

With regular gigs at KC's Bar & Grill, Beaches Bar & Grill and Sorrento Restaurant & Bar, he said his sets depend on the time and place.

“I enjoy playing the chill singalong stuff and then it can get high energy and get people up and dancing.

“I use a looping pedal and I use the guitar as a percussive device as well, so I can create a soundscape that sounds similar to a band.”

One to please a crowd, Aaron sets often consist of songs that people know and love with a twist but will mix in some reggae and funk-inspired originals.

“A lot of the flavour that I do is based around reggae or funk at the moment with the looper, and just groove based stuff,” he said.

Find Aaron Saxon on Instagram at @aaronsaxonmusic.

Aaron Saxon has played music professionally since he left school. Photos supplied

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