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Geoff Achison / Blog

December 2013

Hi Everyone Welcome to December 2013. It's been another hectic, fun packed, musically rich journey this year for all of us in the Souldiggers camp. We love what we do and we thank you for your support.

Looking back, it seems that as 2013 was about to begin I really wasn't sure of anything apart of a desire to continue making music. Touring had kept me so busy through 2012 that there had barley been time to write or even think about new materiel. Now that I'm looking back at a similarly jam packed year I feel much the same.

Now, I don't think it's a bad thing because playing live gigs is what I love to do. The recording studio is a rather clinical and methodical environment by comparison. Whilst some musicians thrive in the controlled nature of the studio, I find it is not at all conducive to spontaneous invention. That's what I'm looking for when I play - you know, something special and exciting that has never happened quite like this (or that) before! Whether it is a new song, a new twist applied to an old favourite or just a mind-blowing jam session, they are all paths to a similar result. For me it requires a sense of freedom, an almost trance like state where the music flows through the body with spirit. That sort of magic is more likely to happen at some sweaty juke joint or a funky old theatre ... and I suppose that's why our past 4 or 5 releases have all been live recordings. Still, the studio is certainly useful for putting a new composition together for the first time ... and so, hopefully before very much longer, I will gather up my notes and scribbles, book some recording time with some creative pals and lay down some new tunes.

Meanwhile though, the train keeps a rollin' and I'm glad to still be riding it. It's been a fantastic year of music - even if most of it has disappeared into the ether seconds after its creation. I got together with some of my favourite players not only here in Australia but also in the USA, UK, Germany and even Morocco! In my occupation I'm privileged to witness the joy that music can bring to the world on a regular basis and I still can't quite believe I get to do this year in, year out ... so thankyou for supporting live music.

So, for our part we have a bunch of gigs lined up for December. I've been away from home a lot lately so these are nearly all around Melbourne where I live (apart from a trek up the highway to Yackandandah & Mulwala NSW) .. but wherever you are, I hope you take a punt o a few evenings this month and go out to see what live music is happening in your neighbourhood. It brings people together - it really does!

US Tour News, March 2012

Howdy Folks We've kicked things off with a bang landing in New York City last Friday night and joining the Yonrico Scott band for a late night jam at the Iridium Jazz Club. That began around 1am so any attempts at getting over my jet lag were to be put on hold. The following day Randall Bramblett and I hosted Hittin' The Note magazine's annual party. We played to a sold out crowd there at Terra Blues and still had the evening to look forward. Our good friends at Hittin' The Note had procured tickets for us to see the Allman Brothers Band at the Beacon Theater. Most of y'all will know what a huge fan I am of this group so I was pretty happy to be spending my time in this way. Well, what can I tell ya? Turns out we had backstage passes and I was able to enjoy the gig from the side of the stage with media folks, industry pros and members of the ABB family. Quite a scene for this country boy to find himself in. Before the show I did meet Warren Haynes, Oteil Burbridge and Derek Trucks very briefly but there was no discussion of any kind. I say this because my buddy Joe from HTN had told me to bring a guitar along to the show. My guess is that this had something to do with my association with the great Randall Bramblett and he was certainly doing some numbers on the show. I was right behind him backstage when he played a heartfelt sax solo on 'Desdemona' and sang harmony on 'Gold Dust Woman'. Randall also sat in on Gregg Allman's Hammond organ when they jammed on Neil Young's 'Southern Man'. The atmosphere was electrifying and for me it was like getting a glimpse of the top of the mountain. I mean, in my world there is no higher pinnacle in music than The Allman Brothers Band. The approach that I've always pursued with our Souldiggers project has always been largely influenced by this group, albeit a search for our own original style. So ok, I'd been advised that I'd be invited on stage this night but I know how these things can go sometimes. It wasn't my gig or my stage and so often when the band is on fire ( as these guys always seem to be) any previously agreed acts of kindness in letting an outsider try their hand at contributing can be simply forgotten once the creative force takes over. So I didn't dwell on the possibility and simply enjoyed being present in the moment. Backstage at an ABB concert - are you kidding! So late in the gig, when I was indeed called out on stage I found myself plugging in amid some of the worlds best. Yes, it was a potentially mind-freezing moment. I was a helluva long way from my first spin of 'Live At Fillmore East' on my cheap record player back at the Malmsbury railway station! To keep my wits I thought about Jorma's advice 'Focus on the things you love and the music will flow' and at this instant I thought about recently departed friends who had always encouraged me. I told myself to do what I always try to do when playing music - listen! Well, the band is so amazing to listen to that even though I was brought out 'cold' and told to 'burn' it was an absolute joy to play on that stage. Stood in between Warren Haynes and Oteil Burbridge. My buddy Randall was on sax so that made me feel good and I did my best to contribute rather than be a burden on the band. It was all over so fast and I still can't quite believe it happened. Sadly for me I didn't get to meet Gregg Allman. I was in the same room as him at one point but no-one introduced us. I simply wasn't quick enough off the mark to make myself known to him. Nor did I meet Butch Trucks or Jaimoe. Naturally I would like to have personally thanked them for their influence and inspiration - but that's what 3000 people all wanted to say that night. I'm sure I would have fumbled with words anyway - but having the chance to communicate musically was worth more than a million words could say.

March Newsletter

Howdy Folks, Well, I've certainly had an eventful February. Besides my usual gigs The Souldiggers appeared on Channel 31's Guitar Gods & Masterpieces TV show and we had an amazing night at our Guitar Showdown hosted by yours truly and Jimi Hocking. We had a full house and it was outrageously good fun.

No time to rest though, we have lots more coming up this month. MELBOURNE: With a US tour imminent we only have a handful of shows on the home turf this month so we hope y'all can make it to see one of these. The Souldiggers play Brycess Tavern in Mooroolbark Fri March 2nd and we have a little trio gig at Crown Riverside Sunday morning (Our last Oz Souldiggers show for for next 2 months) Meanwhile I have Solo Acoustic shows Sat Mar 3rd at the Wild Thyme Cafe in Warburton and I play the First Tuesday Blues Club in Sale Tue Mar 6th. My final Melbourne gig before heading o/s will be solo at The Mentone Hotel, Sun Mar 11th.

QUEENSLAND: It's going to be a lightening visit but I'm zooming up to S/E Queensland for three shows in March. I'll be at The SoundLounge, Gold Coast Fri 09 performing once again with my good pal Doc Span and a rockin' band. The following day, Sat Mar 10, I'll do an early Solo Acoustic show at from 1pm at The Royal Mail in Goodna before joining Doc & the lads again at Joe's Waterhole in Eumundi from 8:30pm. Phew! That'll be a whirlwind.

USA: After that it's back home for the Mentone show and then time to pack my bags for my return to the US. There's some beaut things lined up there. I'll land in New York first up playing Hittin' The Note magazine's annual party with Randall Bramblett. There's some festival and club dates but also looking forward to doing my Fur Peace Ranch Blues Guitar Workshop in Ohio Mar 30th thru April 2nd. Now, we've just confirmed I'll be performing on the Fur Peace Station stage with Randall Bramblett on the Saturday night of that weekend. It's just $25 and y'all can buy Fur Peace Station concert tickets HERE. We'll also be in Florida, North Carolina and Georgia on this visit including special shows at Georgia's Crimson Moon and Eddie's Attic plus Lake Worth Florida's Bamboo Room.

Besides all this we're currently preparing a special edition of our 2005 Little Big Men album which is to be re-released for America in April. It'll be freshly mastered replete with a new cover and lovingly scented with Frebreze and stuff ... ok, we might not get the Frebreze thing sorted but we're thrilled there's some renewed interest those recordings. Stay tuned!

ACHO APP: It's all a bit George Jetson this but it's perfectly true. Can you believe we used to collect people's street adresses not that long ago and send out a a typed, photocopied newsletter once a month. I actually used to have enormous fun doing those but somehow, with all these new fangled time-saving machines we have, I don't seem to have any darn time! I bet I'm not the only one either. In fact, I'll bet if we did send out those lovely hand-folded newletters a lot of folks wouldn't have time to sit down with a cuppa to read them. Well, help is at hand because now y'all can have a little Acho in your pocket! You can download your FREE ACHO APP onto your Apple or Android device and when you're next feeling like reading the latest Acho news, hearing some music or wondering where to go on the weekend just get out your phone and look us up!

UK / GERMANY: I'm in conversation with our guys in the Euro zone with plans to visit Germany and the UK in October/November of 2012. We actually have some confirmed dates which will be listed online soon. Stay tuned - we'll be there before ya know it! Ok folks, it's another busy day here. I must sign off for now but please do check out the UPCOMING SHOWS below or visit us at www.geoffachison.com anytime. Hope to see y'all soon ... Geoff