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McKay, Gus: Talisman

Australian Gus McKay is not your typical blues rocker. Sure, he plays lots of guitars, blows the harmonica and sings about hard times. But Talisman is a dark and moody record that also incorporates elements of world music and alt-jazz with an array of eclectic instrumentation. The result is an earthy dose of blues-based rock and roots that reflects McKay’s real-life experiences as a farmer.

He sings in a weathered voice that at times recalls Mark Knopfler (especially on parts of the eerie opener, “Art of Living”), and he often shares the spotlight with members of his edgy band, who know when to invoke incredibly impressive restraint. Bouzouki, banjo, fiddle, cello and trumpet enhance the album’s organic sound, and taken as a whole, McKay draws comparisons to Otis Taylor, another unconventional bluesman.

Don’t expect Talisman to liven up a party, though. This is best listened to in a dark room, candles burning and whiskey flowing.

Track Listing:
1. Art of Living
2. Fallen Down
3. Hundred Acres
4. Piawaning Suit
5. The Man
6. Muse
7. Bohemian Life
8. Murchison Sequel
9. Gin Gin Morning
10. Last Dance

Added: December 29th 2018
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Gus McKay Website
Hits: 422
Language: english

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