From Melbourne, Australia, and tours often in the US, based in Atlanta, GA. A jaw dropping, crowd-pleasing guitar virtuoso with rich soulful vocals and award winning songwriting. No tricks, no pedals, no gadgets. Just good gutsy, organic music that is...
From Melbourne, Australia, and tours often in the US, based in Atlanta, GA. A jaw dropping, crowd-pleasing guitar virtuoso with rich soulful vocals and award winning songwriting. No tricks, no pedals, no gadgets. Just good gutsy, organic music that is equally proficient in BOTH electric and acoustic styles. Voted one of the “Top Ten Hottest New Guitarists” by Guitar Player Magazine 2008! He’s been a guest Guitar Instructor for TWELVE years at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Guitar Ranch - one of the best places for guitarists in the world! Among other honors, he and his band, The Souldiggers, won Band of the Year at the 2007 Australian Chain Awards. All that - and he is Melbourne's Most Misspelled Artist!
America Embraces Achison, Relocated Aussie Guitari by All About Jazz – Feb 26, 2008 – Geoff Achison is about to complete his first year as resident of the country from which the music he adores originates. With countless radio interviews and performance spots,...
Geoff Achison Plots Final U.S. Dates Before Return by Jambands.com 8/23/08 It has been a whirlwind of 18 months since bluesy, funky guitar master Geoff Achison moved to the United States. He has toured the country and hit many of our great listening rooms and...
America Embraces Achison, Relocated Aussie Guitari by All About Jazz – Feb 26, 2008 – Geoff Achison is about to complete his first year as resident of the country from which the music he adores originates. With countless radio interviews and performance spots, multiple television broadcasts, tireless touring and international radio airplay, more people than ever have been exposed to Geoff's sound. His recent critically acclaimed live release, Souldigger CD, has helped. It reached #23 on the US Roots Blues Chart, and was identified by a variety of DJ's and many Internet sites (including Jambands.com and Kweevak.com) as one of the best releases of 2007. On his latest tour of the UK in the summer, he returned to the BBC Studios to again record a national radio program there. He also is proud to have completed his tenth year of teaching at Jorma Kaukonen's (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna) Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp. Needing an amp, he was fortunate to develop a relationship with an American manufacturer (Kustom Amps) who provided him with a tube guitar amp to use for the duration of his time in The States. (a '72 Coupe).
While Geoff still performs solo in some shows, he also has a slew of new musical friends who frequently join him for his full band performances as Souldiggers (Geoff's band wherever he is.) These musicians include drummers like Yonrico Scott (Derek Trucks Band), Chris Fryar (Oteil and the Peacemakers) and Tyler Greenwell (Susan Tedeschi Band) and bassists such as Charlie Wooton (Zydefunk), David Stoltz (Dickey Betts Band) Ted Pecchio (Susan Tedeschi Band), and many others across the US. "Each musician brings their own particular style to the band," Geoff says, "and that keeps my ears open to new ways of playing some of my old tunes." The ever-evolving Achison further explains, "I'm able to treat these songs as sort of inter-stellar space vehicles that we can fly to different planets and back. Well sometimes we come back!"
He also has co-billed with, and/or been joined onstage by the iconic Colonel Bruce Hampton (Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Quark Alliance), Tom Principato, Webb Wilder, Delta Moon, Oliver Wood (Wood Brothers), The Red Elvises, Watermelon Slim and fellow Aussie, Harper. His January performance with Randall Bramblett (Traffic, Steve Winwood, Allman Brothers) and Atlanta folk legend Caroline Aiken was so well received at Atlanta's Eddie's Attic that the trio is being encouraged by industry players to do a regional tour. His co-bill with gritty Atlanta songsmith Donna Hopkins was covered by Jambands.com magazine, has been downloaded thousands of times on the Live Music Archive website, and even spent some time on their Top 10 Critic's list.
However, Geoff certainly has not forgotten his beloved native country, and the jumbo jar of vegemite delivered to him by fans visiting from Australia in September helped as well. One particularly Acho-friendly Atlanta-area venue even had a vegemite pizza baked just for Geoff when he was performing in their room in celebration of Australia Day!
Geoff Achison Plots Final U.S. Dates Before Return by Jambands.com 8/23/08 It has been a whirlwind of 18 months since bluesy, funky guitar master Geoff Achison moved to the United States. He has toured the country and hit many of our great listening rooms and festivals. This summer he was named one of the "Top Ten Hottest New Guitarists" by Guitar Player magazine, and earlier this month he was invited to sit in with Les Paul at Iridium in New York City. Paul and his band backed Achison on a version of the Neville Brothers’ “Voodoo,” and in so doing they even used Achison’s own arrangement of the song (it is a song that pops up at Achison shows from time to time). “It was kind of like a roller coaster ride,” said Achison of the collaboration, “a whole lotta fun but at the same time, it was bloody scary.” Paul even honored Achison by leading the crowd in a version of “Happy Birthday” in Achison's honor.
Tomorrow night Achison will again join forces with Atlanta’s soulful blues-based songstress Donna Hopkins to swap songs and stories at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia. Previous versions of this pairing have been Top 5 downloads at archive.org. “Donna is an enormous talent,” says Achison, “I’ve always been impressed by artists who have developed their own unique voice and Donna is certainly one of these.”
This time the pairing is particularly bittersweet though, as it will take place in the wake of Achison announcing that he will be returning to his native country of Australia in October.
Achison will also headline the first night of the Charlotte Shout Festival on September 12. Webb Wilder and The Beatnecks and The Fabulous Thunderbirds will headline the Saturday version of this festival. Report by Rob Turner
Little Big Men - Music as a Healing Force by Blues Revue Since his 1994 recording debut, Australian born Geoff Achison has emerged as one of his generation's most talented guitarists, a flexible stylist whose comfort with tradition hasn't inhibited his deeper exploration of connections between blues, jazz, pop and even classical music. His latest release moves further into modern jazz-rock territory, pairing seductive, funky grooves with thought-provoking lyrics that reveal a keen awareness of social issues.
Eric Clapton an Albert King are clear sources of inspiration, but Achison's versatile playing style resists categorization. He mostly avoids extended solos, proving his dexterity through well-timed guitar flashes with the groove created by a talented band that includes Mal Logan on keyboards, Rodger McLachlan on bass and Gerry Pantazis on drums. Even at his most adroit (check out the track "Feel like a King," a stylistic homage to his heroes), Achison resists the impulse to show off.
Achison's husky, textured voice is an ideal instrument to express the longing in these 14 self-penned tracks. "Crazy Horse" laments the eradication of indigenous peoples, while "Little Big Men" could be read as a stinging indictment of political leaders. A tighter lyrical focus would sharpen Achison's attack, but one suspects he's more interested in using his music as a healing force. "Feel Like a King" offsets its political commentary with an appeal for small scale human pleasures and "the freedom of my music." Anther track in this vein, "Wagging the Dog" recalls Percy Mayfield's rough-eyed humanism. Like everything on this strong and subtle release, it tempers acidity with hope.
Taken as a whole, Little Big Men is memorable for its relaxed intelligent sense of flow. Newcomers to Achison's sound will find ample encouragement for the continued evolution of contemporary blues.
Music: Spotlight Geoff Achison: Continental drift by Creative Loafing, Atlanta Even for the quintessentially road-hardened blues musician, a move halfway across the world from Melbourne, Australia, to Atlanta is a daunting proposition. Add a family with a 5-year-old child to the equation and the leap of faith that world-renowned blues/soul guitarist Geoff Achison took to relocate is as bold as the thousands of miles between the cities.
But, as any working musician in Achison's genre understands, you go where the jobs are. That, along with his Decatur-based manager Nancy Lewis Pegel, was enough to spur the cross-continental relocation. The gruff-voiced singer/guitarist had lived in the States for a brief time a decade ago. "I was always keen to come back, but I needed to get a solid management team on the ground," he explains. In 1999, a mutual friend in the U.K. suggested Pagel, who has worked with Achison ever since. "It came to the point that I was refusing a lot of [U.S.] opportunities because I still lived in Australia, so we made the move." He became familiar with Atlanta through yearly visits during which he met and gigged with local players, bonding with the city along the way.
The road warrior intends to tap into the city's impressive pool of talent to fill slots in his ever-changing touring group, appropriately named the Souldiggers. "Over the years here in Atlanta, I've worked with some fabulous musicians, session players who all know their stuff.
But perhaps most importantly, his new home provides a solid base perfect for fanning out to the rest of the country. "Living here now puts the whole of the U.S. within our grasp.
World class guitarist to headline blues festival by Moreacombe Today, UK A WORLD-CLASS blues guitarist from Australia will headline a week-long blues festival in Morecambe this summer as this year's programme of live events in the town goes from strength to strength.
Geoff Achison and his band The Souldiggers will perform at The Carleton on Saturday, June 30 for the climax of BluesWater 2007, which promoter Steve Middlesbrough hopes will eventually rival similar international blues festivals in Maryport and Colne.
Achison will visit Morecambe hot-foot from sell-out dates in the south of England and a tour of his native land and the USA, where he is regarded as the blues equivalent of Jimi Hendrix – such is his talent with the guitar.
This guy is so good we have designed the whole festival around him," said Steve.
Rarely has a guitarist of his quality appeared in Morecambe.
Also performing on June 30 will be leading French acoustic blues performer Claude Bourbon, and a host of top bands from our region including Swamp Dogs, Tantrum, The Section and Tin Pan Alley.