Geoff Achison review….October 1, 2018….

GEOFF ACHISON

SOVEREIGN TOWN

LANDSLIDE RECORDS  GRA CD 20

SKELETON KISS–MINIATURE MEN–WALK AWAY–SOVEREIGN TOWN–WANDSWORTH BRIDGE–MISHA BELLA–SMALL TOWN CRIME–WORLD OF BLUE–SLEEPWALKING–HAND OF FAITH–RESCUE THE PAST–COOLBARDIE SUNRISE

Guitarist/composer Geoff Achison’s latest set for Landslide Records has a decided historical bent to it.  Entitled “Sovereign Town,” its eleven originals and one Ben Harper cover trace the gold rush era of 1850 in the state of Victoria, AU.  The set was actually recorded at the Pilgrimage Studio in Ballarat, AU, to add to its authenticity.  Herein, Geoff recalls memories from his childhood, growing up in the Malmsbury region amidst the still-prevalent abandoned mine shafts and tunnels.

The brave souls who set out on this quest for riches had no idea the pitfalls that they would face, but gave their all to meet the challenge.  The songs were intended for small combo presentation, thus Geoff is on vocals and guitar, Dave Clark is on drums, Andrew Fry is on doghouse bass, Liam Kealy is on Hammond, and backing vocalist on three cuts is John McNamara.  “Miniature Men” laments a long-lost friendship, and our hero ponders, “I wonder what you’d think of it all,” years down the road.  Geoff’s cover of Ben Harper’s “Walk Away” features Liam’s Hammond as Geoff admits to the daily grind of missing that one who “puts the happi-in-my-ness!”  The title cut finds our hero “seven months since I staked my claim,” and all he knows is “where the gold ain’t!”  Our favorite was “Wandsworth Bridge,” with its Garcia-esque guitar lines and the promise to his lover to be “home by Valentine’s Day,” portraying the eternal optimist.    And, anywhere you have men in search of treasure, you’ll always have an abundance of “Small Town Crime.”  Geoff brings the vocal portion of the set to a close with some sage advice–“a new generation can’t Rescue The Past,” fueled by a nice slide solo at the break.

Geoff Achison takes the listeners back into the history books with his brilliant look at the boom/bust of the gold rush days from 1850’s Australia.  “Sovereign Town” continues his penchant for the unique in contemporary blues, setting him apart from the usual suspects of the genre’.  This is a fine set honoring those who sacrificed all for the power of gold!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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