Jorma Kaukonen, he of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna fame, has said of Geoff Achison that the funky blues player possesses "a completely individual style", and that's certainly so, right from the very start, as the guy plays some of the most melodic leads I've heard in quite a while, be-boppy while of an extremely clean and lyrical caliber that Carlton, Khan, and Ritenour would admire. Elmore Magazine attributes a Jeff Beck-ian soul to Achison, but I'd disagree. Geoff embodies a very different soulfulness, one I can't quite ID, which is a very positive trait, and even the height of Beck's 'orange' period and Blow by Blow weren't like this.
Achison's back-up, the Souldiggers band, who appeared on BBC TV, reminds me a lot of the old and much missed Sea Level or some of Les Dudek's sessioneers, gentz who knew how to swing—zesty, spunky, suave, and sly. This CD is in fact seven years old, now remastered with three cuts tacked on from Achison's 2002 Chasing My Tail disc, but it sounds as though studioed yesterday, fresh and tasty. His voice is off the beaten path as well, a rough-ish timbre with a tremor to it, a quaver not oft encountered but completely in line with the husky passions invoked.
Little Big Men reminds me a lot of the kind of stuff that Keef Hartley Savoy Brown, and a number of loosely allied others were putting out in the 70s, a blend of several modes that came together very nicely to cue up a new line that others would have done well to have toed more firmly. Then there are the jam interludes in cuts like Rule the World, where you get to really grab the CD's musical heart. During the generous 70+ minute duration of Little, there's plenty of everything to shake your shimmy for a damn good workout, and Little Big Men is being reintroduced because, while it enjoyed wide acclaim in Australia, the disc saw only limited distribution here in the States…and that's along the lines of a crime y'all.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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