Artist: Geoff Achison
Album: Another Mile, Another Minute
Release Date: 03/03/2017
Geoff Achison hails from Australia and this album is nominated for Album of the Year in the 2017 Australian Blues Awards. It may be categorized as a blues album, but it is brilliantly eclectic and wide ranging, clearly one of the best albums I’ve heard so far in 2017.
Long hailed as one of the world’s top guitarists, Jorma Kaukonen has had Achison as a guest instructor at Fur Peace Ranch for 17 years and guitar teacher at his online school BreakDownWay.com. Achison also displays a great flair for genre-crossing songwriting that touches on all forms of roots music. His gravelly voice reminds me at times of James Maddock and Malcolm Holcombe. His guitar solos are imaginative and often carry a tone that lies somewhere between Ronnie Earl and Carlos Santana.
This is Achison’s 14th release but first in ten years. He is the front man for his quartet, the Souldiggers, but adds notable Australian session players on horns and background vocals. Bassist Roger McLachland and keyboardist Mal Logan were early band members of the Little River Band. The grooves are memorable as tunes shift between adventurously electric to acoustic to churning funk, riveting in its many different directions and tempo changes. Even on a predominantly acoustic tune like “Delta Dave,” Achison adds his atmospheric electric guitar to add depth. The band gets funky on “Working My Way Back Home” and the Dr. John- like “Sum Peeples Got All Da Fonk.” Three tunes feature some of Australia’s most notable musicians. Chris Wilson’s solos on harmonica in “I’m Gonna Ride,” Lloyd Spiegel takes the gritty main vocal on “I Wish You Were Mine,” and Shannon Bourne takes the outro guitar solo on “Make No Mistake.”
Among the many outstanding tracks, is “Dreaming I’m Awake,” which showcases Achison’s soaring guitar technique and gorgeous tone. The closer, the acoustic “Front Porch Farewell,” couldn’t help but remind of that similar effect “Little Martha” had on the iconic Eat A Peach album. Comparably, just as that album took you to so many emotional and musical places, so does Achison here. The acoustic tune is practically necessary, to calm it all down. Trust me, you’ll be giving this one repeated listens. Also look for Achison on tour in the U.S. and UK in March through May.