Geoff Achison & The Soul Diggers
Celebrated guitar virtuoso backed up by an all-star band, Geoff Achison & The Soul Diggers invoke the spirit of the Blues & Soul greats to create superb and exciting original music.
Geoff Achison and the Souldiggers is a ripping live band with an infectious sound combining elements of blues, funk and soul and just like Geoff’s history, it’s coloured with more than a hint of Jazz! Antipodean Geoff is a phenomenal guitarist who has developed a very distinct musical style, setting him apart from most others. On the one hand, he has the ability to deliver gentle acoustic masterpieces and on the other, to project mind blowing electric blues-rock! Geoff’s origin goes back to Malmsbury, a town in central Victoria with a population which has only just breached the 600 plus mark. In his early days he played bass in a Jazz band and was listening to people like Count Basie, Duke Ellington to Dudley Moore and Joe Cocker. It was only when he heard John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, featuring Eric Clapton, that his passion for blues really took off. “The opening riff of that album (the classic ‘Beano’ album) changed my life. Clapton’s playing on that still sends shivers down my spine “.
Just how important blues became to Geoff is personified in his work with The Souldiggers. When forming his band he explained, “The idea was to have a name that described the music and I greatly admired the blues philosophy – tapping into one’s soul for honesty and truth. That’s what ‘Souldiggers’ is meant to convey”. He did not have to dig too far to put together his UK Souldiggers who all have a wealth of experience. Sam Kelly (drums), Sam has been voted into Blues In Britain magazine Gallery of the Greats, as a five-times winner of the ‘UK Drummer of the Year’ award. In 2014 Sam was awarded first place in the “Drummer” category for Blues Matters Writer’s Poll and runner-up in the British Blues Awards 2016. Andy Hodge (Bass) , Andy is currently in the wings of the London West End Dominion Theatre performing in We Will Rock You and is the dep for bass player Neil Murray (Whitesnake). Paul Jobson (keys), Paul has been gigging since he was 9 years old and undertaking session work since age 13, Paul is recognised as a versatile, creative and above all talented player.
The live sets feature a catchy mix of earthy original tunes, improvised jams and a refreshingly intelligent interpretation of some fine blues, funk and soul classics. The shows, without detracting from the music, bring to the fore Geoff’s ability to create magical guitar sounds without the usual gadgets, a rare skill that few musicians ever really master. Even ZZ Top, who can make a tin can sound like a Gibson, would have something to say about the man’s incredible ability.
Along his musical journey the Australian maestro has won numerous accolades including the ‘Albert King Award’ in Memphis and Australia’s ‘Chain’ Blues Award for Best Band. He has jammed with many greats, including the legendary British Bluesman John Mayall, the great Les Paul and The Allman Brothers Band. In 2011 he made it into Truefire’s “100 Gifted Guitarists You Should Know” list amongst many other serious names which include Bonnamassa, Derek Trucks, Warren Hayes and Matt Schofield. He is also Official Patron of the ‘Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society’.
“Geoff is one of the finest blues guitarists I know with a completely individual style.” Jorma Kaukonen – Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna
“Achison has been hailed as one of the finest blues players in Australia.” Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop
“Achison is one of the most gifted musicians to arrive on the scene and his playing verges on the miraculous.” The Times, London
You can see the band on Friday at The Wheelhouse.