Geoff Achison’s latest release Another Mile, Another Minute begins with “High Wire,” a track with a mellow groove and the bright sparkle of acoustic strings underneath prompt percussion; Achison’s voice is raspy-smooth like a honeyed Tom Waits. The backing vocals ring like angelic motets and take the listener into “Delta Dave.” With its complicated string melody, “Delta Dave” waxes on a nostalgic homesickness felt hungrily by a traveling character housed only in his music. Quiet desperation abounds and unadulterated pain comes through as the speaker bleeds confession for hope of absolution.
“Working My Way Back Home” features a gruff, paradoxical smoothness and “I’m Gonna Ride” uses its road-tripping groove to establish a tune of a final goodbye as the song’s speaker leaves a woman and a place he no longer feels is healthy with a puckish ‘sayonara’ and a few measures of brilliant guitar work. “A New Bad Habit” finds the speaker stuck in a harrowed rut after a life of vice, wondering if there’s some new type of subversion; we see the speaker dockside with a cutlass, a corsair without a ship, trapped in a time where docility is encouraged and conformity demanded.
Bawling in a milieu of greasy diners, surrounded by the smell of strong coffee and sharper tears, “I Wish You Were Mine” looks to nicotine and nighttime to end a private heartache while the song’s title track, “Another Mile, Another Minute,” finds the speaker unable to move forward, disenchanted by the ever-receding promise of progress. With sobbing horns, this song is a blues ballad about falling where you stand, when your knees are heavy to rise, when the gift of hope warps into desolate pining.
“Make No Mistake” is a song about repent and regret and, as the lengthiest track on the album, uses its duration to fill the listener with the wails of a tarnished soul before the excluded is licked by the rising flames, rising with the closing guitar. The lunar warmth of burning moonlight sears throughout “Dreaming I’m Awake,” where the twilight of a beaten dog’s quiet hour is glimpsed, where cigarette’s burn orange circles in the shadows and ash falls into the darkness of a star-stabbed night.
The pick-me-up bass groove of “Sum Peoples Got All the Fonk” changes the album’s mood and “Baby Come Back” continues to shine with a thrilled organ and fanfare-shouting horns; the sunny, gliding guitar and Achison’s quick, patter-like delivery in the breakdown differentiate this track from other beach rockers of its type before “I Need Help” and “Make My Stand” dose the listener with a twinging guitar. The album concludes with “Front Porch Farewell” whose first notes of golden, blissful steel introduce this sweet instrumental send-off that, indeed, paints rural landscapes with string-picking bluesmen in straw hats lingering over a sweating pitcher of lemonade in the last heat of the day.
Geoff Achison’s Another Mile, Another Minute is a great accomplishment of blues rock from its accomplished instrumentation, to Achison’s own weathered delivery, to the pensive lyrics that depict scenes of shattering and elevation. Pick up this record for a glimpse into the highs and lows of the world of the blues and for a journey of thoughtful lyrics and flawless melody.
The Review: 7.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– High Wire
– Delta Dave
– I’m Gonna Ride
– Another Mile, Another Minute
The Big Hit
– High Wire
Review by McKinnie Sizemore
Buy the album: Amazon