Australian singer-songwriter / guitarist Gus McKay is making blues-rock fans very happy with latest album, Talisman. Blues and roots-rock influences abound, including J.J. Cale, mixed in with Gus’ Peter Green meets ZZ Top inspired vocals. Essential for blues and rock fans, Talisman is a fascinating spin start to finish.
Songs about purpose and dignity are at the core of Talisman, which also has a deep connection to rural life in Australia. A sense of sparseness permeates Talisman, which is very much centered on Gus’ own ideas of life, while his lyrics are underscored by the excellent sound that Gus receives from his band, including Ronan Charles (drums, keyboards, and tenor sax) and Phil Waldron (bass, double bass, bouzouki, fiddle, trumpet, cello, banjo, pedal steel and tin whistle).
The first thing that grabs you about Talisman is the sonic depth of these songs, while guitar fans will be amazed at the sound that Gus coaxes from his many fine guitars, including Teles and Strats as well as a 1940’s Dobro and an Australian “Galvo” tricone resonator made from 100 year old galvanized roof tin/iron.
The art of modern electric blues is alive and well on Gus McKay’s Talisman.