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Geoff Achison is an acclaimed blues-roots artist from Melbourne, Australia best known for his guitar playing and songwriting.  Geoff began his apprenticeship with legendary Australian bluesman ‘Dutch’ Tilders, establishing himself as a fine lead guitarist before launching ‘The Souldiggers’. Drawing upon deep blues, soul, funk and acoustic folk influences, he released his debut album in the early 90s and began touring throughout the USA, UK & Europe. Geoff’s music has been compared favourably to major artists such as Eric Clapton, JJ Cale and the Allman Brothers Band. He has won numerous awards for his guitar playing, songwriting and live performances.

Australian Musician Editor Greg Phillips caught up with Geoff for an in-depth chat as our Musician of the Month for April 2024. Photos by Jason Rosewarne.

More About Geoff Achison
Geoff Achison was born at Phillip Island, Victoria. He is the third of five siblings, and was raised in the Victorian rural village of Malmsbury. His journey in music began when he discovered a forgotten old guitar beneath the stairwell of the family home. His trumpet-playing father enthusiastically found him a guitar teacher and his first gigs were with his Dad’s old-time dance band. The young guitarist displayed enough promise to attract the attention of local jazz musician Alan Watson. Through his new mentor he was exposed to jazz and improvisation. At Watson’s suggestion Geoff temporarily switched to bass-guitar which provided him with a greater understanding of the rhythm section.

After gaining valuable experience as a bassist Geoff developed a keen interest in American blues which re-kindled his passion for six-stringed guitar. In rural isolation, he was mostly unaware of the electronic effects employed by some guitarists and devised some of his own techniques to emulate the sounds of echo/delay, tremolo and wah pedals which contributed to a unique and inventive playing style.

In 1987 Geoff made the move to Melbourne and soon established himself on the scene playing lead guitar for popular Australian blues performer ‘Dutch’ Tilders. In time Geoff began to work on his own music releasing his debut album ‘Big Machine’ in 1994. He represented Melbourne at the ‘International Blues Challenge’ in Memphis TN winning the coveted ‘Albert King Award’ in 1995. Encouraged, he set his sights on the world market and successfully established international touring routes in the USA and UK. To overcome the difficulties of bringing a band from Australia, Geoff began hiring local musicians to form a backing group when required. On his first extended overseas trip, Geoff received a beautiful new acoustic guitar from the famous Gibson guitar company and recorded his third album ‘Gettin’ Evil’  with a US version of his ‘Souldiggers’ band. Upon his return to Melbourne, Geoff was able to recruit an all-star group which featured some of Australia’s most celebrated musicians. With Mal Logan on keys, Roger McLachlan on bass and Gerry Pantazis on drums, Geoff was finally able to realise his musical vision with The Souldiggers and built the group’s reputation with exciting and spontaneous live performances. Mal Logan has since been replaced by Richard Tankard  on keys and the current version of The Souldiggers is still a must-see event.

Geoff is equally adept at acoustic and electric styles. He can provide the full electrfied experience with The Souldiggers or play a complete solo show with his superb command of the acoustic guitar. Geoff is also an all-round performer who delights in treating his audience to entertaining anecdotes peppered with his wry sense of humour. Whether acoustic or electric, his music is firmly steeped in the blues whilst injecting elements of funk, folk, country & roots-rock into the mix.

Geoff has been a driving force on the Aussie Blues/Roots scene, inspiring and influencing many of his younger compatriots. He is also a respected teacher, presenting several workshops each year and has appeared as a regular guest instructor at Jorma Kaukonen’s famous Fur Peace Ranch guitar camp in Ohio USA. On March 17, 2012 Geoff performed on stage with The Allman Brothers Band  at the Beacon Theatre. A live recording of the event can be purchased from In 2020 Geoff was honoured to be inducted into theVictorian Blues Hall of Fame. In 2024 Geoff appeared with legendary Australian country rockers Stars on the live recording of their milestone album Paradise. Geoff is about to perform with the Allman  Betts Family Revival Band in Melbourne. His current band playing around Melbourne is the Algo-Rhythms featuring Rob Dabbs on bass and Dean Matters on drums.

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