Music fueled by community spirit

THE community spirit of central Victoria is what keeps bringing blues musician Geoff Achison back to the region.

MUSICIAN: Geoff Achison is returning to Bendigo and Castlemaine.

MUSICIAN: Geoff Achison is returning to Bendigo and Castlemaine.

Achison, who has been music for more than 25 years, is a regular in Castlemaine and Bendigo will play two gigs on Friday and Saturday night.

His Friday night show at The Bridge Hotel in Castlemaine features Achison alongside his mate Chris Wilson.

"Our gigs tend to get very loose. We play the old standard songs but then will start throwing (ideas) at each other and the audience gets really into it," Achison said.

Achison said he was excited to play The Bridge Hotel, which has built a strong live music reputation in the last two years.

"I had a look at their website and saw all the great artists they have booked there," he said.

"It's just wonderful to see a venue really having a crack. I'm very excited to play there."

On Saturday, Achison will travel up the highway to play on the Bendigo Blues Tram which, like The Bridge Hotel, has developed a strong presence as a quality music venue.

"That's always a special event. It is certainly a unique venue," Achison said. "I like that you get to sit back and enjoy a set as well as playing your own."

Macedon Ranges musician Jarrod Shaw will play alongside Achison on the Blues Tram on Saturday.

"I'm a fan of Jarrod's. He's a wonderful young musician with a magnificent singing voice and I love the arrangements that he does," Achison said.

Achison has played the Blues Tram many times before and has already visited Bendigo to play shows twice this year.

"In central Victoria festivals like the Bendigo Blues and Roots grew out of so much community spirit rather than an entreprenurial or get-rich-quick scheme,"he said.

"Some short-lived festivals have leaned that way and it's an attitude that doesn’t (work).

"The Bendigo scene is a beautiful thing, friendly and inviting. You always feel welcome."

Bendigo Blues and Roots Festival founder Colin Thompson said the development of the Blues Tram had been welcomed by audiences and musicians alike.

"We are grateful to provide a space unlike anything else (in the region)," he said. The Blues Tram has run more than 20 musical events since the tram's first run in 2012.

Box Of Blues: Geoff Achison and Chris Wilson play at The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, on Friday, July 11. Tickets are $25.

The Blues Tram featuring Geoff Achison and Jarrod Shaw leaves Central Deborah Goldmine at 2pm on Saturday. Tickets are $35. Phone the Bendigo Visitor Centre on 1800 813 153.

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