When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: AJs Food, Fun and Friends, 322 Spring St. SW, Gainesville
How much: Free
More info: 770-287-3030
Gainesville is in for a treat on Saturday, when Australian blues guitarist Geoff Achison rolls into town for a show at AJ's Food, Fun and Friends.
Achison spent much of last year living in Atlanta and touring around the area, working with a rotating band of musicians and letting their American music styles influence him for his new album, which came out last month in Australia.
He's back for a one-month stint of shows, including Saturday's at the downtown Gainesville venue. We spoke with Achison about his new album and what it's been like working with "Yankee" (how he refers to American) artists.
Question: What have you been doing now that you've moved back to Australia?
Answer: I've been very busy, firstly putting the recordings together that we made in Atlanta, which were recorded over most of 2008 in between touring dates. It has come up just beautifully; I'm really thrilled with it, and that's what I'm over here promoting now. ... Besides that, I've been touching base with a lot of my regular folks down in Australia and reuniting with the band.
Q: What's up with the new album?
A: It was released at the beginning of May in Australia, and all of our gigs here are CD release parties. And it's been great - the response has been terrific. It's all original music that was put together whilst living in Atlanta.
Q: Is the new music influenced at all by living in America?
A: You can't help but be influenced and inspired by the environment that you find yourself in. And I was working with a lot of different musicians through this concept of the rotating membership (in his band). So one of the members I'm working with on this tour, Charlie Lewis, he's got that whole Louisiana, New Orleans sort of funk down. And he's a very dear friend, and we've played so much together. And there are some things on there I can definitely attribute to working with him.
It's just the fact that I've been able to come over here and work with people who I'm a big fan of for a long time. It's just been the most special thing. And I guess because I was a fan of these guys beforehand, I have been influenced by their music.
Q: It seems you're coming to Gainesville after someone saw you at a private party and wanted you to come to the area. What do you make of that?
A: I do all sorts of gigs these days, and perhaps it's the power of the social networking sites. I spend a little bit of time on MySpace and people can talk to my wife on Facebook. I guess there's an empowerment an independent artist can glean from that because it puts us directly in touch with our fans. And every now and again it results in a performance being organized on the other side of the world. There's nothing better than turning up to play for people who are excited you were coming to town.
Q: Will you be coming back to the Atlanta area any time soon?
A: It's a four-week trip, this one. But I am hoping to return in the fall, and I've got an around-the-world trip planned then. I've got a few more dates in the Northeast, but I will visit Atlanta at least once then.