Another Milestone for Frankston bluesman

The awards could not have come at a better time.  On the eve of a 30-date UK/US tour and with his new album just released globally, Frankston bluesman Geoff Achison “pretty much scooped the pool” at the Chain Australian Blues Awards:  Album of the Year for Another Mile, Another Minute; Song of the Year (I’m Gonna Ride); Producer of the Year (Geoff and father-and-son team Rob and Ben Harwood); Group of the Year (which his Souldiggers shared with the “fantastic” Justin Yap Band); and Artist of the Year.

The awards justified Geoff’s attempt to take his music to the next level.

“We were committed to making the best possible album, having learnt in the past that now and again because of budget constraints we would cut corners.  We were trying as hard as we could to not do that and then found that it wasn’t getting completed because we were just running out of money.”

So Geoff’s wife, Michelle, suggested crowdfunding to keep those corners intact.  “When it was initially suggested I was a bit coy about it – I felt like it was asking people to give us a handout – but once we got into it I realised it’s not like that at all – you’re really appealing to your support network to get on board and be involved in the process.”

Geoff would post regular updates on YouTube, playing demos of songs he and the band were working on.  “I’ve never done that before; usually we keep all that stuff a secret as much as we possibly can because you really want people’s first hearing of a new song to be when it’s completed.  So I had to drop some walls there and allow people to see into the inner workings of putting it together.  But the response was fantastic.

“Then I did about 20 different events around the place which were anything from house concerts to guitar lessons as people snapped up these little packages that Michelle offered, and it was actually really fun because I got to meet a lot of people and go to their houses and sit down and play a few tunes – it was great.

“For all the accolades we’ve got for the album, which is fantastic, the experience of the music for us is best when it’s live on stage and we’ve got an audience and we just have our own little party.  I love it; it’s the greatest job in the world.”