By Rob Dickens
It has been almost a decade since his last studio outing.
But crack Australian guitarist Geoff Achison has made up for lost time with Another Mile, Another Minute (Jupiter 2 Records), a vibrant and diverse bunch of foot tapping blues and funk songs that should bring a smile to your face and lighten up your day. Part New Orleans funk, hard blues and soul – they are all done impeccably.
It was last October when Geoff announced his intention to return to the studio to make an all-original album. There are thirteen originals as well as a re-make of Achison’s 1994 song ‘Baby Come Back’ which featured on his debut album and has been a favourite on US tours. There’s plenty of diversity here and Achison’s voice is complemented by well-arranged backing vocals. It is difficult to highlight particular songs as they all serve the collective, but ‘Sum Peeples Got All Da Fonk’ is one of funkiest, low-down tunes I have heard in a long while and the acoustic closer ‘Front Porch Farewell’ stands out because of its contrast with what precedes.
Another Mile, Another Minute was recorded in Melbourne at HS45 Studios, Australia between January and May 2016 and features his long-time band The Souldiggers. Along with Achison (guitars, vocals) are Roger McLachlan (bass), Gerry Pantazis (drums/percussion) and Richard Tankard (keyboards). Adding to the outstanding rota are some heavyweights of the rock and blues scene, terrific and highly-regarded players – Mal Logan (keyboards), Chris Wilson (harmonica), Shannon Bourne (guitar), Paul Williamson (saxophone), Jack Howard (trumpet) and Keith Nolan (Wurlitzer). Backing vocalists on this release are Susie Ahern, Hannah Harwood and Steve Romig. Lloyd Spiegel provides lead vocals on one track.
So, an impressive gathering of talent and a wonderfully enjoyable collection that will serve him well in the next twelve months as he has not one, but two tours of the US in 2017.
His years touring State-side have been well spent, and he has played at some very prestigious festivals, theatres and clubs there. It is a measure of his esteem that the US version of The Souldiggers has been pulled from outfits like The Derek Trucks Band, Susan Tedeschi Band, John Medeski, Donna the Buffalo, Randall Bramblett and Zac Brown Band.
Achison has also played Duane Allman’s Les Paul guitar – twice, and his frequent tours of the US have seen him playing with folks like The Allman Brothers, Les Paul, George Porter, Jr., The Wood Brothers, Leon Russell, Randall Bramblett, Delbert McClinton and John Mayer.
I would not be surprised if Another Mile, Another Minute propels Geoff Achison to a whole other level.
It is out in stores in Australia now, but comes out worldwide and digitally March 1 2017.
Another Mile, Another Minute – Track List
Working My Way Back Home
I’m Gonna Ride
A New Bad Habit
I Wish You Were Mine
Another Mile, Another Minute
Make No Mistake
Dreaming I’m Awake
Sum Peeples Got All Da Fonk
Baby Come Back
I Need Help
Make My Stand
Front Porch Farewell