Geoff Achison hails from Australia, but he has been living in the American South for some years now. He returned to Australia to record Another Mile, Another Minute, his 14th album but the first in 8 years.
Another Mile, Another Minute is an appropriate title for this genre-crossing album, which certainly keeps up a steady pace. For this outing, Achison added some of Australia’s best session players to members of his band The Souldiggers. In addition to his own gravelly voice and incendiary guitar playing, he has bassist Roger McLachlan and keyboardist Mal Logan, both formerly of the Little River Band back in the early days. Richard Tankard is on keyboards and Gerry Pantazis on drums. Three songs feature three of Australia’s favorite roots musicians, Chris Wilson, Lloyd Spiegel and Shannon Burke. Together, they merrily mix blues, funk, soul and rock on 14 of Achison’s excellent original tunes.
Things kick off in high gear with “High Wire” and then switch moods abruptly as Geoff takes up the acoustic and begins the tale of “Delta Dave,” switching to electric when the band kicks in. This song really illustrates how Achison’s songwriting has matured over the years.
“Working My Way Back Home” gets a light, jazzy lilt from Mal Logan’s work on synthesizer, which contrasts nicely with Achison’s growl. “I’m Gonna Ride” is a rocker with some great harmonica from guest Chris Wilson. Then the horns and synthesizer help “A New Bad Habit” turn slyly funky. Lloyd Spiegel takes the main vocal on “Wish You Were Mine,” adding some soul shouting to the mix. “Another Mile Another Minute” and “Make No Mistake” give us mellow soul, with Shannon Burke handling the guitar outroo on the latter.
Next comes an album highlight, “Dreaming I’m Awake,” a slower, more thoughtful song on which Achison’s guitar soars beautifully. Just to underscore the diversity here, it is followed by “Sum People Got All The Funk,” with those funky horns back again. “Baby Come Back” sounds exactly like a Joe Cocker song, and that is a good thing. It is one of my favorite tracks.
A couple more heavy, rocking tracks, “I Need Help” and “Make My Stand,bring us to the closing track,”Front Porch Farewell,” a gorgeous, sweet acoustic instrumental that cools things off and ends the album on a peaceful note. Itis my other favorite track.
Geoff Achison is a gift to all lovers of American blues and roots, and this may be his best album yet.
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