Geoff Achison is an independent Australian musician who has forged his own path to a successful career that has won him fans all over the world. He is a capable vocalist too with a gritty, soulful quality to his voice. Inspired by the great Blues and R&B music of yesteryear, Geoff’s live set features an infectious mix of gutsy original tunes, improvised jams and dynamic new arrangements of blues & soul classics. Geoff developed a passion for music as a youngster and taught himself to play on a beat up instrument he’d discovered ‘under the stairs’ of the family home. He spent 2 eventful years living and working in the US performing with local musicians and racking up thousands of miles on the road. Highlights included jamming with the iconic Les Paul in New York City and being invited to join R&B vocalist Delbert McClinton on board his cruise ship. In May 2009, Geoff released a selection of self-penned compositions recorded in Atlanta with US touring band and several featured guests. Its title is ‘One Ticket, One Ride’, an apt sentiment for a creative musician with an adventurous spirit.
We chatted with Geoff so read on to see what he had to say to us…
What is the first gig you ever attended?
I saw Stevie Ray Vaughan’s first visit to Melbourne, Australia around 1983. What can I say? It was just the three of them, SRV with Double Trouble – Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton – just laying down a solid set of Texas style rocking blues. SRV was a huge hit in Australia and every guitar picking kid in the country was doing their level best to look and sound like him after he hit the scene.
What is the best gig that you ever performed?
Well, I’ve played over 200 gigs per year for over 20 years and most of them have had their high points. I’d point to our long standing residency at the St. Andrews hotel in Melbourne as being the venue that really allowed me and The Souldiggers to evolve as a group. The good folks there just accepted us and our original music and that in turn permitted us to play with the freedom and creativity we yearned for. Choosing an individual night is impossible – so many good ones – but whilst things have moved on, it was just brilliant having our spiritual home there for a while.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
The Codetalkers at the Thunderbird Cafe in Pittsburgh around 2006. It was a great set but what really blew my mind was the interplay between bassist Ted Pecchio and drummer Tyler ‘Falcon’ Greenwell. Being a small club I guess I got the full force of their energy from just a few feet away and they had been playing together as a team for about a decade and just on freaking fire! It’s difficult to explain in words what they brought to that performance but it was joyous, dangerous, ridiculous, controlled and chaotic all at once. They really helped to define for me the whole point of making music. Both of those guys went on to other projects playing bigger stages but I feel fortunate to have caught them playing their craft in an intimate setting.
What is the gig you would most like to play?
I’d like to play that gig that’s sometimes seen in movies where there are about 5000 people attending your first ever appearance and you only play one 3 minute song and before you’ve even finished there is a fat man from a record company handing over a squillion dollars advance on your first recording … C’mon, are you kidding? I’m from Melbourne Australia and I have a show coming up at the iconic Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta GA. I am living the dream!
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
The way I’ve worked things has been to get myself on a plane now and again and hire the best and funkiest darn musicians I can muster wherever I find myself. Over the years I’ve built up quite a network but it’s sad for me that they don’t all know each other. If I had a dream gig I’d have all of those awesome players rotating and trading licks because they’re all just awesome. At Eddie’s, though, we’ll have a ‘dream’ local outfit comprising Ted Pecchio on bass, Kevin Leahy on drums and Marty Kearns on keys … we’ll get up to some mischief don’t you worry!
Click the link to purchase your tickets to see Geoff Achison & The Souldiggers when they come to Eddie’s Attic Saturday, September 14th.
Doors open at 6:00pm.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $19 at the door.
Tables with 4 reserved seats are $75.
Tables with 4 reserved seats and 4 meal combos are $135.
Online, phone, and outlet sales end at 5:00pm on the day of the show.