Aussie Bluesman Geoff Achison has been busy this year. In between the tours he managed to find time to Squeeze in a few recording sessions too. The end result is that two new Achison albums have appeared in quick succession. The latest, "Each Long Day," was recorded during his last visit to the UK earlier this year.
The album opens with the catchy "If the Washing Don't Get You the Rinsing Will." The use of acoustic and electric guitars, both played by Achison, helps to round out the overall sound, and is a technique used on several of the tracks here. His singing has a soulful edge, add in the hint of zydeco suggested by Richard Studholme's playing and you get a good idea of the way that Achison can breathe new life into old tunes. Few people would have thought that "Help Me" could have been turned into a slow burner with
plaintive vocals, but Achison pulls it off with ease.
The reworking of "In The Midnight Hour" is inspired. Achison has taken it and slowed it down a bit, but still managed to retain the spirit of the original. Fred Cogger does a great job on sax, and Achison pitches in with the fine bluesy guitar work, and the expressive vocals. The Box Tops' classic, "The Letter," also gets the Achison treatment. The acoustic guitar playing is positively Spanish in places. Although the ensuing "Can't Get You Off My Mind" is a more uptempo rockier affair, it fits right into the flow of the album.
There are only two original tunes here. The first, "Jorma's Ranch"is an instrumental. It has a real jam feel to it, and is not really blues but has a touch of the Bert Jansch about it. The drums maintain a train tempo throughout. The other original is the title track which closes the album. It opens with some more folkier acoustic guitar before Achison is joined by the luscious strings of the Sydney Opera and Symphony Orchestras. Achison
lays down some more tasty licks, and even duels with Adrian Keating's violin at one point. It is another prime example of Achison's originality that the whole thing hangs together so well and never outstays its welcome over the course of the eight minutes.
"Each Long Day" is another mighty fine album from Geoff Achison. It is probably his most commercial album to date, in that several of the tracks here would not be out of place on day time radio. Achison's instinct for arrangements is top notch and there is a distinctiveness about his playing that marks him out as a real original even when tackling other people's songs. Terrific stuff.
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