Bluestone Blues Festival with Geoff Achison

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Bluestone Blues Festival with Geoff Achison

Geoff Achison is celebrating 20 years in the music industry, and headlining the Bluestone Festival. He first began playing in his father’s dance band at the age of 13. Soon after, he heard John Mayall and the Blues Breakers (with a young Eric Clapton on guitar) playing the opening strains of ‘All your Love’ by Otis Rush and “it just burst out of the speakers!”.
After that, Geoff became hungry for more of that sound. He developed a passion for American blues and learned the rudiments of the art form. In his early 20s he moved to Melbourne and joined with legendary local bluesman ‘Dutch’ Tilders.
After several years with Dutch, he departed to focus on his own music and embarked on an international discovery tour. His first stop was the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, USA where he won the Albert King Award and was offered an endorsement deal with Gibson Guitars. Not a bad start!
He spent many months in the USA on the road performing countless live shows and recording his One Ticket, One Ride album there. In 2008 a Guitar Player magazine reader’s poll listed Geoff as one of the Top 10 ‘Hot New Guitarists’ on the US scene.
He adores jamming with other musicians and has developed close musical relationships with many other artists including Georgia based songwriter/musician Randall Bramblett with whom he shares a ‘live’ album release, Jammin’ In The Attic.
His annual Boxing Day Blues concert with our own bluesman Chris Wilson has also resulted in a shared album release titled Box of Blues.
The passion for jamming has paid off on a personal level too, with Geoff being invited onstage at various times with musical heroes such as Hubert Sumlin, Delbert McClinton, Jorma Kaukonen, legendary bassist George Porter JR, the Allman Brothers Band and even the great Les Paul. According to Geoff, the biggest highlight was “sitting in and trading licks with the Allman Bros in 2012”.
Geoff chose to produce a DVD to commemorate his 20th year since leaving Dutch Tilders’ band to focus on his own music. The CD/DVD double disc set was recorded live at his 20th anniversary concert at the GH in St Kilda back in March.
It covers his repertoire as he has played it over the past 20 years.
The recording of the band, and the music the Souldiggers have been best known for, also seemed quite timely as Geoff has been writing new material and there is a new album in the pipeline for 2015.
Geoff is thrilled to be back at Bluestone as he loved it when he was there before but hasn’t played there for a while.
“Well, we’ll start it up and play on the energy of the crowd. So we aren’t really sure what will happen as you can’t script a party, but we’ll be going for it,” he says.
Just the thing to usher in the New Year and take us through the countdown to the future.
When&Where: Murgheboluc – December 31 – January 1
By John Lamp