Steve Tallis

Discography

Loko

loko

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  • Label: Zombi Music
  • Release: January 1, 2004
  • Catalog No: zombicd5

 

 

Tracklist

  • 01 The Blessing 0:14

  • 02 Animal 5:17

  • 03 Papa Loko 5:24

  • 04 Healing By The First Intention 5:07

  • 05 My Hands Are On Fire 5:00

  • 06 Coward Howard 6:02

  • 07 Prayer Wheel 7:07

  • 08 Kama 3:52

  • 09 Dynamite 3:35

  • 10 Out Of Control 6:14

  • 11 From Disease 5:22

  • 12 My Conscience Is Clear 6:20

  • 13 Stop The Racist Bus 3:24

  • 14 For God's Sake 4:32

  • 15 Sacred Love 4:10

Press

  • LOKO – GREGO APPLEGATE EDWARDS – 26/7/2013
    GREGO APPLEGATE EDWARDS - GREGO APPLEGATE EDWARDS - July 26, 2013

    Friday, July 26, 2013
    Steve Tallis and the Holy Ghosts, Loko, 2003

    Seasoned Australian vet rock blues guitarist-vocalist-singer-songwriter-bandleader comes at us in a 2003 CD of original songs with his acoustic band The Holy Ghosts. Loko (Zombi cd5) is the disk I am writing about today. It’s Steve on acoustic guitar and vocals with some nice violin from Dave Clarke and solid percussion-drum accompaniment by Gary Ridge.
    The 2003 incarnation of Maestro Tallis is a folk-blues drenched kind of rock-folk. There are primal progressions that take the place of the standard blues variety and Steve gives us strong, emphatic vocals with a definite blues tinge—a touch of Beefheart and Howling Wolf behind his own brand of deep projective declamation that sounds very right.

    The songs are personal expressions of outrage, frustration, affirmation, disapprobation about the world he sees around him. The foment of religious upheaval, social bigotry, hypocrisy, chaos, and personal angst. In other words, this is a blues reaction to the modern, post-modern world.

    There is much in the way of originality. He is a kind of new Richie Havens coming from another planet. We get 15 powerful songs in a ritual exorcism of the world’s inequalities, a swamp-rock incantation to renew us all.

    It’s hard-edged music that you must hear more than once to dig into what’s going on. Once you do, you get a “new” voice on the scene—though he has worked to get to this point hard and well over the years.

    It’s very real, strong and in-your-face. It’s Steve Tallis into a definite original zone. You should get it.

    Posted by Grego Applegate Edwards at 6:47 AM
    Labels: alternative singer songwriters, australian folk rock today, blues drenched folk-rock, steve tallis and the holy ghosts loko “gapplegate guitar review”

    Friday, July 26, 2013
    Steve Tallis and the Holy Ghosts, Loko, 2003

    Seasoned Australian vet rock blues guitarist-vocalist-singer-songwriter-bandleader comes at us in a 2003 CD of original songs with his acoustic band The Holy Ghosts. Loko (Zombi cd5) is the disk I am writing about today. It’s Steve on acoustic guitar and vocals with some nice violin from Dave Clarke and solid percussion-drum accompaniment by Gary Ridge.
    The 2003 incarnation of Maestro Tallis is a folk-blues drenched kind of rock-folk. There are primal progressions that take the place of the standard blues variety and Steve gives us strong, emphatic vocals with a definite blues tinge—a touch of Beefheart and Howling Wolf behind his own brand of deep projective declamation that sounds very right.

    The songs are personal expressions of outrage, frustration, affirmation, disapprobation about the world he sees around him. The foment of religious upheaval, social bigotry, hypocrisy, chaos, and personal angst. In other words, this is a blues reaction to the modern, post-modern world.

    There is much in the way of originality. He is a kind of new Richie Havens coming from another planet. We get 15 powerful songs in a ritual exorcism of the world’s inequalities, a swamp-rock incantation to renew us all.

    It’s hard-edged music that you must hear more than once to dig into what’s going on. Once you do, you get a “new” voice on the scene—though he has worked to get to this point hard and well over the years.

    It’s very real, strong and in-your-face. It’s Steve Tallis into a definite original zone. You should get it.

    Posted by Grego Applegate Edwards at 6:47 AM
    Labels: alternative singer songwriters, australian folk rock today, blues drenched folk-rock, steve tallis and the holy ghosts loko gapplegate guitar review

    http://gapplegateguitar.blogspot.com.au

  • BOGDANA CHIVAS (MUSICIAN – PARIS / LONDON)
    BOGDANA CHIVAS (MUSICIAN - PARIS / LONDON) - October 23, 2020

    “A cross between Patti Smith and Bob Dylan”

  • BLUES MAGAZINE (FRANCE) – JEAN MARCEL LAROY
    BLUES MAGAZINE (FRANCE) - JEAN MARCEL LAROY - October 23, 2020

    Cet auteur compositeur interprte australien encore inconnu en France, Steve Tallis, se sert de sa guitare et de sa voix rauque et expressive comme d’un passeport pour la dcouverte du monde et de ses racines musicales. En fait, la croise des chemins, son Blues serait considr comme trop dconcertant par les puristes, trop Blues pour les puristes de la World music et trop World pour le monde du Rock et de la Pop. Certes, ce n’est pas le Blues tel que nous avons l’habitude de l’entendre Encore que, je dirais que par moment, son genre musical serait plutt les Musiques du Monde et tous les dpaysements intenses que cela suscite. Avec sa guitare en acoustique et sa voix provocatrice, la similitude avec Bob Dylan se retrouve notamment sur Animal, Healing By The First Intention, Prayer Wheel Je retrouve aussi, pour ce qui me concerne, le style de Van Morrison et de Calvin Russell, mais avec son originalit particulire d’un retour la source d’un Blues roots, mais pas tant que a… Impressionnant voyage, quand mme ! Eh bien, vous voyez, force de l’couter, ce CD de plus de 71’, me plat de plus en plus, et j’en ferai mon Coup de Cur.

    Jean Marcel Laroy

  • PARIS ON THE MOVE – FRANKIE “BLUESY” PFEIFFER – JANUARY 2010
    PARIS ON THE MOVE - FRANKIE "BLUESY" PFEIFFER - January 1, 2010

    Steve Tallis and The Holy Ghosts – Loko

    Ici Dailleurs / Rue Stendhal 2007

    Les notes de Paris on the Move

    Notre note

    COUP DE COEUR

    Faute avoue tant ? moiti pardonne, javoue que javais zapp cet opus de Steve Tallis. Pourquoi lavouer aujourdhui? Mais tout simplement parce que lalbum en question est lun des vingt ou trente meilleurs albums de blues acoustique quil mait t donn dcouter depuis plus de quarante balais. Voil? qui est dit et qui vous fait comprendre le pourquoi de ce mea culpa en public.

    Ds le premier titre, The Blessing, les churs aborignes et les claquements de mains vous foutent un frisson pas possible que prolongent la guitare acoustique et la voix de Steve Tallis sur Animal. Ca vous prend direct aux tripes et au cur et ca ne vous lche plus. Et quand par-dessus tout a vous avez le violon qui vient faire gmir ses cordes dans le creux des oreilles, vous navez mme plus ? prendre de billet pour vous envoler pour lAustralie car vous y tes dj? , sous un soleil de plomb, au cur de la tribu des Holy Ghosts, les fidles du chaman Steve Tallis.

    Avec Papa Loko, vous prenez une seconde baffe, norme, car le Steve change de style comme dair, datmosphre ou de couleurs musicales comme il le sent, comme vient le vent. La voix est lointaine et semble vous parvenir comme aprs un long voyage, use mais encore forte, fire et droite. La guitare est ? limage de la voix humaine, ferme mais use jusqu? la corde. La sixime, la dernire, celle qui ferme la voie, avec un e, avant de rejaillir, lumineuse, clatante, sur Healing By The First Intention. Tout comme le violon qui se fait spatial, arien, divin.

    Le griot Steve Hallis vous colle ici encore des frissons pas possibles tant sa voix porte, slve, avec des intonations qui feraient parfois passer Bob Dylan pour un frre jumeau. Un jumeau qui aurait perdu cette rage interne qui anime cette flamme immense qui brle en Steve Tallis. Une flamme qui na cess de brler en lui depuis sa plus tendre jeunesse.

    Autant marqu par ses racines culturelles macdoniennes que par la musique de lEst du bassin mditerranen et par des artistes tels Dylan, Hendrix et les Stones dont il sest imbib plus que de raison grce aux radios australiennes, Steve Tallis est parti trs tt ? la recherche des racines du blues, dveloppant ? sa manire ses aspects les plus tribaux.

    Tout ? la fois brillant songwriter et voyageur au long cours, le chanteur-guitariste a vcu et jou sur tous les continents, a accompagn Clapton, B.B. King et Van Morrison tout en conservant sa personnalit et son indpendance, gardant sans cesse en lui cette passion sans limite pour des bluesmen tels Leadbelly et John Lee Hooker. Fou et fan de Tom Waits autant que dAli Farka Tour, partag entre folk, blues et gospel, Steve Tallis sen ira jouer en Inde, au Pakistan puis en Afrique, faisant croiser la route du blues par celles dautres musiques tout aussi prenantes.

    Cest suite ? cette srie de voyages initiatiques que Steve Tallis va crire, composer les chansons qui vont aboutir ? ce pur chef duvre quest Loko. Un album de 15 titres qui vous propose pas moins de 71 minutes dexcellente zik, ce qui, par les temps qui courent, est ? signaler, pas mal dartistes ayant allgrement zapp le fait quun CD pouvait contenir et offrir bien plus que 35 ou 40 minutes de musique. Ces mmes artistes qui ensuite viendront pleurer sur lpaule des mdias pour cause de crise du disque et de piratage.

    Enregistr en une seule prise live denviron cinq heures, Loko est une uvre brute de dcoffrage, sans overdub et ces autres subtilits techniques propres ? refroidir trs souvent une uvre faite dans linstant, enregistre live en studio. Ce qui faisait justement la force et la beaut des 33 tours dune autre poque et que les CD sont venu chasser, jets ? leur tour dans les bas cts par le numrique. Jusquau jour, jen suis sr, o le monde retrouvera raison et que les 33 tours rempliront ? nouveau les bacs des disquaires.

    Quelques titres tels Prayer Wheel et Dynamite sont dignes de figurer dans le Top 20 des meilleures chansons de ces dix dernires annes, toutes catgories musicales confondues. Cest dire.

    Faut avouer que lalbum est dune qualit irrprochable, avec ses petites imperfections, certes, mais qui donnent justement ? cet opus un ct exceptionnel, vnementiel unique. Un must, indiscutablement !

    Frankie Bluesy Pfeiffer

    www.myspace.com/frankiebluesy

    A consulter:

    http://www.stevetallis.com

    http://www.myspace.com/stevetallisandtheholyghosts

  • I-MUZZIK.NET – HARRY D CHABERT
    I-MUZZIK.NET - HARRY D CHABERT - October 23, 2020

    Il faut bien reconnatre que nous ne sommes pas fans de blues surtout quand il nest plus dans sa priode primitive ou quil ne replonge pas dans ces racines (The black keys entre autres) les plus foisonnantes. Donc, ce Loko de Steve Tallis and the holy ghosts nest pas, ? priori, un disque rellement dans nos cordes. Entre les Klaxons, Arctic monkeys et Justice, il ne reste que peu de place pour Steve Tallis and the holy ghosts. Pourtant, presque inexplicablement, on se laisse sduire, emporter par ce croisement entre blues et folk, entre musique du monde (des mondes traditionnels) et rock. Si la raison est difficile ? dfinir clairement, on peut au moins affirmer, que ces chansons, denses, droites, possdent suffisamment dme, de spiritualit, de profondeurs pour nous toucher. Tentative de voyage transcendantal (ambition trop leve) et tout simplement trs bon disque, Loko est loeuvre dun artiste passionn et amoureux franc de son art, un artiste ? la recherche dune vrit primaire. Mme si cela se rvle un peu culott, il nous offre un album inspir et trs sduisant.

    It should well be recognized that we are not fans of blues especially when it is not any more during its primitive time or that it replonge not in these roots (The black keys inter alia) most plentiful. Therefore, this Loko of Steve Tallis and the holy ghosts is not, a priori, a disc really in our cords. Between the Horns, Arctic monkeys and Justice, it remains only little of place for Steve Tallis and the holy ghosts. However, almost inexplicably, one lets oneself allure, carry by this crossing between blues and folk, between music of the world (of the traditional worlds) and rock’n’roll. If the reason is difficult to define clearly, one can at least affirm, that these songs, dense, right, have sufficient heart, spirituality, of depths to touch us. Attempt at voyage transcendantal (too high ambition) and quite simply very good disc, Loko is the work of an artist impassioned and in love frank with its art, an artist in the search of a primary truth. Even if that appears a little culott, it offers to us an album inspired and very tempting

    Chronicle i-muzzik.net (Harry-D. Chabert)

  • BIBLIONLINE.COM – ALBI BOP – JUNE 2007
    BIBLIONLINE.COM - ALBI BOP - June 1, 2007

    Steve Tallis avait dj? dans ses gnes, son parcours denfant, les
    prmices de la musique quil fera quelques annes plus tard. Australien dorigine macdonienne, il est intrigu trs jeune par la transe du folklore balkanique qui est perptu sur la terre australe par les communauts migres dont sa famille est issue. La radio, dun autre ct, lui fait dcouvrir le blues et le rock dun autre continent(Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, The Animals). On est dans les annes 60 et Steve Tallis commence ? jouer sa musique. Sa qute dune musique authentique, intense et personnelle le mnera jusquaux sources du blues, en Afrique.
    Tout en suivant en tourne dans le monde entier comme accompagnateur,
    Dylan, Van Morrison, BB King, Eric Clapton.
    Il aurait pu en rester l? , c’est-? -dire, un brillant chanteur de blues rock mais le transcendant, la spiritualit, le mtissage et les liens entre les cultures lont toujours fascins. Il profite de tournes en Asie et en Afrique pour sintresser aux religions et formes musicales de ces pays. Sa musique si elle reste fondamentalement blues rock, voire
    trs dylanesque premire poque, se pare des attributs de ce syncrtisme. Rythmiques et instruments indiens, hatiens, africains et arabes viennent sinfiltrer dans son twelve bars classique. Il la qualifie lui de tribal folk blues teint de gospel . Trop dconcertant pour les puristes du blues, trop blues pour les puristes de la world music, trop world pour le rock ou la pop, sa musique est pourtant ? la fois inclassable et rellement fascinante car elle parle vrai, du fond des tripes.
    Musicien accompli, sr de son discours, Steve Tallis est capable
    denregistrer ce disque en seulement cinq heures. Le rsultat est dune intensit rare. De celle des plus grands bluesmen, griots, chanteurs soufis.

    Un musicien ? dcouvrir durgence !

    Albi Bop

  • KRINEIN MAGAZINE – ZDENEK – JUNE 2007
    KRINEIN MAGAZINE - ZDENEK - June 1, 2007

    Il parat que le blues est une musique de vieux. Il parat aussi que les musiques amricaines bien roots ne sont coutes que par des bouseux, des ploucs, des rednecks, appelez cela comme vous voudrez. Du coup, ce disque agrablement aride de Steve Tallis, paru en 2004 et qui ne vient que de dbarquer dans l’Hexagone (son successeur est mme sorti l’anne dernire!), risque bien de ne pas fltrir beaucoup de tympans. Au moins, si certains en doutaient encore, il est clair que le label Ici d’ailleurs ne fait rien comme personne.

    Dir? s que estoy loko C’est en effet un terrain sur lequel on n’attendait pas la maisonne de
    Nancy, qui ajoute une nouvelle corde ? un arc aux proprits dcidment htroclites. Pourtant, d’ailleurs, il en est bien question dans Loko.
    Australien de souche, Steve Tallis est en effet un musicien
    globe-trotter et curieux, qui remonte ici aux origines africaines du blues, pour mieux les hybrider avec leur descendance nord-amricaine, elle aussi prise de grands espaces et de maux. Et le bonhomme d’arroser le tout d’une bonne rasade de spiritisme, celui-ci s’tant intress
    aussi bien au tantrisme (le coquin) qu’au bouddhisme, au soufisme qu’au
    vaudou. En synthtisant ces connaissances et influences, d’Ali Farka Tour ? Howling Wolf, le dit Steve a alors donn naissance ? un disque ? vif, o les cordes sont sches comme des peaux tannes, la voix malaxe ? la caillasse, les rythmes tribaux et les constructions hypnotiques.
    Oui, Loko est rptitif, mais pas reintant pour autant. Au contraire, ? force d’insister sur les motifs, et en les agrmentant de textes chants du fin fond de l’me (et comme il le dit sur Prayer Wheel, celle-ci n’est pas ? vendre), c’est ? une transe chamanique que ce griot occidental convie l’auditeur-randonneur. Car chez Steve Tallis, on se sent comme un bton de dynamite prt ? exploser ? la face de l’interlocuteur (Dynamite), on accommode Jsus et Dieu ? toutes les sauces, et on se fiche de la diffrence (Stop the Racist Bus).
    Pour saisir ? peu prs l’ambiance, il suffit d’imaginer un croisement
    entre Bob Dylan et John Lee Hooker, au bord d’une falaise, avec le feu
    qui crpite, le bush aux alentours et les substances mystiques qui lui
    irriguent le corps. Il y en a qui appelleront cela de la world-music,
    mais on ne le fera pas, c’est une appellation assez laide. On prfrera y voir la musique d’un passionn, d’un voyageur, qui en cinq heures peut enregistrer soixante-dix minutes franchement dsertiques (My Hands Are on Fire et son banjo ttu, l’entame de Out of Control, o pendant deux
    minutes des cordes rsonnent seules sous les coups du musicien) et les
    rendre malgr cela entranantes, notamment grce ? la prsence d’un
    violon (bien rustique lui aussi) qu’on jurerait parfois fabriqu en
    Irlande (Healing by the First Intention). Et au dtour d’un harmonica (Karma, au hasard), ? dfaut de se sentir bobo, on se sent au moins bohme, et on se dit que beaucoup de westerns ou de road-movies contemplatifs auraient pu tirer profit de ces ppites ensables.

    Une qute initiatique ? mener ? bien ? Une nuit ? la belle toile qui manque d’une bande-son ? Une envie soudaine de dbrancher ? Une maladie ? gurir naturellement ? Steve Tallis et ses saints fantmes peuvent accompagner tout cela. Car Loko est un disque primitif d’une sacre intensit, ou d’une intensit sacre, peu importe. C’est en tout cas un excellent disque de blues, authentique.

    Steve Tallis & the Holy Ghosts – Loko
    01. The Blessing
    02. Animal
    03. Papa Loko
    04. Healing by the First Intention
    05. My Hands Are on Fire
    06. Coward Howard
    07. Prayer Wheel
    08. Karma
    09. Dynamite
    10. Out of Control
    11. From Disease
    12. My Conscience Is Clear
    13. Stop the Racist Bus
    14. For God’s Sake
    15. Sacred Love

    Zdenek

  • CAFZIC MAGAZINE – YAN – MAY 2007
    CAFZIC MAGAZINE - YAN - May 1, 2007

    STEVE TALLIS est un homme bon et grand, un homme qui partage, qui aime la rencontre, qui ramasse un peu de terre partout o il passe, qui rameute les anctres, qui les coutent, qui propage les lgendes ? qui veut bien les entendre. Blues dans le plus profond de son me, sa musique est sincre, profonde, entre les tripes et le cur, parle des esprits lgendaires. Au milieu du dsert, on limagine bien, englu dans ses songes, quelques cris et incantations pour ne pas rester seul. La chaleur de sa voix mimpressionne, la puret de ses chansons sont ? limage de lemballage, sombre et cach mais prsent, terriblement prsent. Au milieu de nos socits, STEVE TALLIS est une anomalie, notre superficialit doit srement parfois le faire enrager, nos besoins matriels doivent le lasser, il simplifie le monde, le rend plus fort en got, de The blising ? Sacred love il partage son me,
    beau disque que vous avez l?

    Yan @ CAFZIC Fanzine
    May 2007

  • ZICAZINE MAGAZINE – FRED DELFORGE – MAY 2007
    ZICAZINE MAGAZINE - FRED DELFORGE - October 23, 2020

    ZICAZINE MAGAZINE Fred Delforge 12 May 2007

    Aussi marqu par ses racines culturelles macdoniennes et par la musique de tout lEst du bassin mditerranen que par des artistes tels que Dylan, Hendrix et les Stones dont il sest aliment plus que de raison grce aux radios australiennes, Steve Tallis a trs vite dcid de partir ? la recherche des racines du blues et a dvelopp ses aspects les plus tribaux pour slever au rang de griot ou de shaman comme se plaisent ? lappeler nombre de ses amis et de ses admirateurs ! Brillant songwriter et voyageur au long cours, le guitariste a vcu et jou sur tous les continents et a accompagn Clapton, B.B. King et Van Morisson, gardant sans cesse ? lesprit une passion immodre pour des artistes majeurs comme Leadbelly, Tom Waits, John Lee Hooker et Ali Farka Tour. Partag entre folk, blues et gospel, Steve Tallis sen ira jouer en Inde en 1997 et au Pakistan en 2003 mais aussi en Afrique en 2005, en reviendra avec une spiritualit qui emprunte autant au tantrisme quau soufisme, ? la bible ou aux rites vaudou et profitera de toutes ces richesses pour nous offrir un nouvel album particulirement riche !
    Enregistr en une seule prise live denviron cinq heures, Loko garde en lui les petites anicroches qui font quun album devient parfois un jour une uvre imprissable, les petits accrocs faits ? la guitare et ? la voix et surtout une volont dclectisme qui fait que Steve Tallis est un artiste absolument inclassable que lon glisserait sil fallait essayer de le ranger dans une boite de la world music africaine et irlandaise jusquau blues bien amricain et au folk australien Parfois volage, parfois bohme mais toujours trs spirituel, lalbum part ? la recherche des secrets enfouis au plus profond de ltre humain, ses peines et ses envies, ses errances et ses certitudes Bourrs de ses multiples expriences, des morceaux comme Papa Loko , Prayer Wheel , Out Of Control , My Conscience Is Clear ou Stop The Racist Bus sont de vritables hymnes que Steve Tallis dveloppe avec force et foi, ne manquant jamais une occasion dinterpeller non seulement le conscient mais aussi, et cest bien l? le plus important, le subconscient. Fin sur le jeu et perfectionniste dans le choix des couleurs proposes, Loko surprendra peut-tre au premier abord par sa grande diversit mais sduira ? coup sur tant il est bourr dides et de dmarches ? la fois opposes et trs complmentaires. Lessayer, cest forcment ladopter !

  • GONZAI – BESTER LANGS – MAY 2007
    GONZAI - BESTER LANGS - May 1, 2007

    La World-Music et le blues continental.Lhomme blanc dEurope aime la world-music pour ce quelle est : Un dpaysement touristique pour pas cher (Comment expliquer autrement la prsence dAli Farka Tour sur la BO de Lauberge espagnole ?), une dtente dhomme press qui prend la musique noire comme un safari photo sans les rhinocros, lamour du lointain sans le jet-lag, bref, la World-music daujourdhui ne fait plus vendre ; le dsert nest plus loin, quelques heures davions tout au plus, et le mythe du bayou bouff par les crocodiles de la profession.
    Alors forcment Recevoir le dernier album de Steve Tallis en 2007 On se dit que le risque de noyade est faible, que lon devra encore bouffer des guests et des featurings par centaines, des Natasha Atlas par milliers, des riffs au synth comme sil en pleuvait toutes les secondes. Connerie de clich dhomme moderne traumatis par Peter Gabriel.
    La vrit, cest que Loko, ce rcent album de Steve Tallis, donne limpression dentendre un Dylan qui aurait bouff du Bush australien et des steppes au kilomtres, et que les crotales sont ? chaque coin de dunes. Publier un album de cette trempe en 2007 savre au final mille fois plus punk que sortir un disque de rock cul. Car Steve Tallis a vendu son me au diable, cest vident, et Loko nen est que la preuve dsarmante. My soul is not for sale crie Steve sur Prayer Wheel. Baratin de bluesman qui a combattu les plus grands dragons (BB King, Clapton le dessch) et sauv plus dune princesse.
    Alors bien sur, il faut aimer les structures invariables, les suites en trois accords, la lente possession du corps par le rythme, la passion dvorante de ce Coward Howard o Steve, malin, singe un Van Morrison qui aurait vu le Delta. Blues. Loko dpasse largement son cadre en proposant le storytelling des plaines dsertes ; un album enregistr en prise directe, moins de cinq heures, seul ? la guitare, crachotant dans lharmonica lorsque lenvie devient trop pressante. Loko, cest un dmon plus plus sduisant que les White Stripes dguiss en VRP du blues pour porte-? -porte.
    Et puis il y a dans Dynamite tout ce qui a cruellement toujours manqu ? Chris Isaak. Le sens du rythme et la voix qui tremble. Cette violine qui sempare du morceau, cest en quelque sorte la preuve que Steve a bien rvis ses classiques avant den imposer ? son tour.
    Et Loko au final mon capitaine, quen reste-t-il aprs une coute prolonge, aprs des perles comme Out of Control ? Simplement limpression quon est ici face ? lalbum solo que Keith Richards aurait du sortir au lieu de faire ses gammes derrire un guignol lippu en survtement Tacchini.

  • “ANGRY HIPPY”
    Fly Global Music Culture - Lydia Martin - October 23, 2020

    “An ANGRY HIPPY has just walked in!”

    Lydia Martin @ Fly Global Music Culture

  • TRANSLATED GERMAN REVIEWS
    October 23, 2020

    Deep spiritual acoustic roots music from down under

    Blues Radio Germany

    **********************************

    Home of Rock (Munich, Germany) Fred Schmidtlein 29/08/2004

    Two years ago I had the privilege to review the albums Zombi Party,Monkey Skulls And Thunderstones and ZOZO by the Australian shaman. In doing so I tried to explain a number of ideas from the world of Steve Tallis. I also tried to describe the music of this musician with all his influences a musician who cannot be categorised. In the meantime I have been listening to his new album for a few months and have failed in writing this article over and over again. To begin with I
    simply lacked the words, then the hypnotic effect Loko had on me
    carried me to a state similar to meditation. Any experienced
    Home-of-Rock reader who hesitates here and asks himself how of all
    people this well-known writing Rock & Roller can speak of meditation
    please immerse yourself in the music of Steve Tallis!
    We are not talking about banal (Rock) music, we need to discuss
    spirituality, secrets, ethnic connections, rites & demons from the shade realm and above all the real existing human behaviours. Steve Tallis is by no means an unworldly nutcase who just made up a half-baked aura for himself. He is a most clearly thinking analyst and advocate of human rights, basically a humanist according to the spirit of the Dalai Lama.
    His vehicle is music, his symbolism is often based on Buddhist ideas,
    and in the end his message is simple and perfectly clear to understand.
    We know that people in Australia are more open and accepting towards
    concepts such as mysticism, body and soul or esotericism in general, and are more interested in learning about them. The griot (please refer to the review of the three previous albums) Steve Tallis has reached a
    point with himself that many straight thinking materialistic people will never be able to reach (including his own Prime Minister Howard who he addresses directly in Coward Howard). Nevertheless he tries to teach us with his music that the world is more than just round. We are all equal in any gods eye he sings in Stop the Racist Bus. This message should
    go down well with everyone.
    Steve Tallis and the Holy Ghosts refrain from using any electronically amplified
    instruments. A fascinating conglomeration of exotic percussion
    instruments, guitars, harp, violin and voice create the magic of this
    album. The term Blues would be tantamount to a castration. I would
    describe it as some kind of ethno-world Blues influenced by the likes of Bob Dylan and John Cale and even then this would not score a bulls-eye. Or rather an avant-garde type of freedom, independence or expressionism based on roots music? I dont know. Find out for yourselves.
    Fortunately all of Steve Tallis albums are now available on the
    Glitterhouse label. A gig at the next Orange Blossom Special Festival would certainly be a highlight for the eager to learn listener and also for the football fan Tallis. Maybe Reinhard, the head of Glitterhouse,
    will consider it.

    ************************************************************************************

    Folker Magazine (Germany) –
    Mike Kamp July/ August 2004 issue

    The latest album of the shrewd Australian songwriter will make every fan of bands such as 16 Horsepower or Hank Shizzoe sit up. With band,Steve Tallis sounds even more intense. Songs that will rob you of your sleep; songs you will want to cover and you will have to sing along to.

    ******************************************************************************************

    Concerto Magazine Austria Dietmar Hocher August 2004

    Portrait

    Globetrotter Steve Tallis

    How many labels are there to describe this man? On his own homepage he uses words such as griot, shaman, boko, baul and alchemist. The latter possibly describes him most perfectly.

    In musical terms, that is, since Steve Tallis, the Australian
    cosmopolite with Macedonian ancestors, is an expert at the (ancient) art of brewing mysterious mixtures. He takes the necessary artistic ingredients from various cultures. And yet, he manages to stay true to his own concept a concept which is hard to fathom. From an autobiographical point of view his origins are deeply rooted in the Blues. Over the past decades, however, the 52-year old has successfully managed to escape any categorization and now invites to join him in suspenseful expeditions to winding audio worlds.
    Having grown up with the ethnic musical influences of Greece,
    Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkey, the youth first turned to the popular 60s electric Blues and Rn B scene – as demonstrated to him by the bands of the British islands. Garage but also pure fun! Consequently his geographic path also led him to London, later on to New York and India.
    Tallis stayed true to this style a lot longer than many others. Easily
    comprehensible in view of his independent 8-CD box (!) Anthology Volume One, the quest for the new started particularly at the beginning of the 80s of the past century. In describing his approach, Tallis states: You
    also have to touch people spiritually. Now this might sound
    stereotyped, but whoever tries to get a close look at the beauty of
    Tallis works, has to hear it for themselves to be able to evaluate and understand.
    So the journey begins with the first juvenile tentative steps in the garage, then typical 60s Blues Rock Punk covers, soon followed in
    psychedelic wrapping. The Doors are evident in those songs, along with
    tribal African rhythms, suggesting what would follow in years to come.
    In the mid 70s the strong connection with the Blues
    increasingly gave way to its baby, RocknRoll. At the same time one seems to be hearing Nick Drake, as well as Santana, the Faces, Tim Buckley and Joe Jackson.
    Then the successful plunge into jazzy waters achieved with an
    improvised flow, Islamic chanting combined with African drums. The
    search for different sounds briefly leads to a chainsaw orchestra, later fluctuating between Tom Waits and Free Jazz, therefore being slightly more mainstream friendly. Despite all those genre changes Tallis never appears to be torn or lacking direction, but rather
    self-determined, confident and authentic. Tallis deals with Voodoo and the Bible as well as with Hinduism, Sufism, indigenous Americans and no doubt indigenous Australians. The latter can be witnessed especially in his latest albums. This musicians discography proves that Tallis is no
    transfigured, introverted admirer of the ivory tower. I want to share music and not just play in the bedroom. Many people forget that the point is to share, he once said. Individuality is his trademark, set between the afore mentioned Tom Waits, Lead Belly and Bob Dylan with Blues roots, Jazz and Folk elements, imbedded in original arrangements,
    delivered with an easily recognisable voice, at times field-holler-like, at others sounding hectically influenced by wind-instruments. Branched
    medleys, percussion-dominated with rainsticks, cymbals and Tibetan
    prayer bowls. Voodoo Blues, Hoodoo Man, Australian griot,
    Zombified Acid Blues or Blues Shaman are some more terms used to
    describe him and his music in an attempt to give something a tangible form, terms which in themselves are hard to understand.
    Loko, the latest album presents itself not only as the central venture but also as a multicultural and genre crossing master piece. It shows signs of Otis Taylor or Calvin Russel, an acoustic album that seems to combine early Pink Floyd with Robert Allen Zimmerman as if following a new natural law, which is yet to be discovered and nevertheless, it irrevocably remains Steve Tallis. Great melodies alternate with passages
    verging on the hypnotic, confusing in their apparent accessibility.
    Simply spiritual!

    ****************************************************************************

    Ingolf Boysen @ Glitterhouse Records – Steve Tallis Loko

    Steve Tallis is definitely unique in the Australian musical
    hurly-burly. He is original and independently follows his mysterious musical visions of zombies, curse and blessing, of tribalism and potions to curse and heal. One could say he is almost modern denouncing recurring racist tendencies in todays Australia. The Australian griot,Voodoo master, shaman from Perth immerses Blues and Rock deeper than ever into hot and moist mud. Tallis is a maniac with outstanding persuasive powers. In an earlier conversation he not only managed to describe demons in an almost real fashion, but also how to escape them. He knows of love potions and herbal tinctures and is convinced that the rituals and ceremonies from the spiritual purgatory of our ancestors are
    definitely effective. A medicine man! His earthy Blues, performed with a throaty voice, is driven by powerful 6 and 12-string guitars and always equipped with the undertone of spiritual roots. Papa Loko, the third song on the album, is a perfect example and the best accompaniment for a campfire ritual. His two tried-and-tested comrade-in-arms in the studio accompany all this with an exotic arsenal of instruments. Gary Ridge has an astonishing percussion park. With his violin and harmonica Dave Clarke makes sure that there is enough of a roots feeling amongst all the haunting. There are no electronic antics whatsoever, the sound is without flourish and
    earthy. Consequently the basic colour of the cover with all its
    mysterious photos is a deep brown. The album is full to the brim with 70 minutes of music maybe one should pause at one point to remember the real world. (ICC)

    ****************************************************************************

    Ingolf Boysen @ Glitterhouse Records – Steve Tallis Zozo

    Those who believe that Voodoo magic is primarily celebrated in the
    Mississippi Delta or on Haiti, and that Dr. John is the sole king of hot Blues and rhythm from the swamp and boiling blood, will be initiated into new secrets by the West Australian griot, the very alive zombie Steve Tallis.
    Tallis enriches his necromancy with African, East Asian and Australian
    Aboriginal elements and gives the dark Blues new facets.
    Zozo was released in 1999. The duke of zombies is accompanied by the
    Suicide Ghosts. Dave Clarke perfectly supplements the guitar sound with violin, mandolin as well as harmonica, and Gary Ridge, the
    percussionist, also hurries the incantation along with Telephone-Book Brushes.
    Although some of the sparingly produced tracks consist only of Tallis stories of this life and the hereafter, the cauldron might just as well boil over and make you believe that the thing from the swamp really calls the devil himself. Originals such as this Australian Griot Blues Shaman from the Underbelly of Perth and his unique albums are hardly
    ever encountered. Most likely the majority burn in hell and this is
    exactly where their albums melt down.

    *******************************************************************************

    Ingolf Boysen @ Glitterhouse
    Steve Tallis – Monkey Skulls And Thunderstones

    There is a swamp in Australia at the southwest border of the Swan
    River delta near Perth. Therefore it is only legitimate that there is a Cajun that goes with it. For quite some time now, Steve Tallis has been this Cajun, but he would prefer to be called Australian Griot Blues Shaman. Hence Tallis starts with powerful Blues and strange percussion incantations are definitely not the limit. This album was released in 1997; his discography reaches back to 1968. The 20 track album finishes with a breathless a cappella version of Leadbellys Black Betty.
    Discover your roots!

    **************************************************************************

    Ingolf Boysen @ Glitterhouse
    Steve Tallis – Anthology Volume One

    Steve Tallis is indeed a little eccentric even he will admit to this, and being eccentric as a musician is a permissible sin anyway. There are a number of deserving classic Rock acts who cannot offer an 8-CD box set, but there is this West Australian Blues man documenting his entire musical history (until 2001) in such concentration and calls it only
    Part 1, subtitled The Sacred Path Of The Fried Egg – Maylands To The
    Gates Of Hell 1962-2001.
    How manic must one be not only to start playing with his first band in the home garage at the tender age of eleven, but also to perform live and above all to store the tapes and the master in such a fashion that those can be included in this anthology forty years later?
    It is self-understood that those early recordings of Tallis beginnings in 1965, for example on CD 1 are no great audiophile treat, but they are not as bad as one might fear. His first band The Broken Things five young teenagers-already demonstrates a very mature conception of Rock and Blues. Tallis, no matter if solo or in various bands, continues to play the Blues up until today, while penetrating into more esoteric or
    borderline shades. Voodoo, zombies, nature faith and African roots leave their mark in his sorcery.
    The extensive booklet informs that throughout his career he supported
    more or less all Aussie stars, as well as Van Morrison, Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan. 114 Tracks – this master piece lasts 9 hours, 36 minutes and 18 seconds. This definitive red linen box set with a sumptuous booklet.
    If you are considering whether or not to buy any other Tallis albums,
    go ahead since each is unique.

    ************************************************************************

    Ingolf Boysen @ Glitterhouse
    Steve Tallis And The Zombi Party

    This album was released in 1993. In all the other albums it is Steve
    Tallis whoas an artist is to the fore. Zombie Party, however, is a band album, and because of that sounds substantially harder. Nevertheless this album features dark incantations in Swamp Blues. Jamie Oehlers saxophone plays a particularly important part in creating a special devilish feeling at times driving, then freely improvising.
    The album was recorded within 15 hours in the studio and a kind of
    session atmosphere can be felt. An energetic mixture of Rock and Blues. One is reminded of Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Blood Sweat & Tears,even Family, plus other failed geniuses such as James White, and there is also a cover version of a Tom Waits song (Till The Money Runs Out).

    ***********************************************************************************

    Home of Rock Fred Schmidtlein – August 2002 Steve Tallis

    Limits in Blues? A contradiction in itself? No! Steve Tallis, an
    Australian, is a borderline case.
    He has been playing music since 1962. LPs, tapes, singles, videos and of course CDs. He is a shaman. He is a griot. He is a Blues musician.
    Some term definitions:
    Griot: A very eloquent person who performs at important occasions such as funerals, weddings and christenings. Griots are musicians, singers, speakers, mediators or chroniclers; they also act as spokespersons of important personalities. Origin: West Africa (source: www.afrika-in-bayern.de)
    Shaman: Native American term for medicine man, healer.
    Steve Tallis was born in Macedonia, therefore in the Balkans. Echoes of
    ancient music from Southeast Europe are evident in his music. What is
    also evident is an African influence, as well as a Native American and Indian influence. He combines all this with traditional Blues. With Jazz. With Rock. With Cajun. With everything you can imagine.
    Dear Reader, all this sounds confusing. Well, it is. But not really, because this unbelievably varied music would be unbearable. The three Steve Tallis albums before me are confusing, because they are magic,hypnotising. And they suck you into a maelstrom which is hard to describe.
    We are talking about Voodoo. I will not go on about it. Too many lies,
    half-truths and dull prejudices are connected with it. Therefore, here
    is another quote from www.afrika-in-bayern.de:
    The word Voodoo has its origins in Togo: Ewe wudu means protecting
    spirit, but also god. Voodoo combines elements of the Catholicism with tribal religions from West Africa (especially Benin). In Voodoo cultures a highest god called bondye (French Bon Dieu: the good god) is
    worshipped. Besides that there are a number of other gods such as the
    Legba, the mediator between the gods and the humans, Damballah (snake),the fertility god, and his wife Ayida-Weddo, the rainbow goddess (mistress of the skysnake). Apart from those there is a distinct ancestor cult and cult of the dead. Even spirits, the so called Loa or Orixa, are being worshipped. Loa vary depending on the region. They are African godlike beings which were given the characteristics of catholic
    saints and even angels. Other catholic elements of the Voodoo are
    candles, bells, crosses, prayers, the christening ritual and the making of the cross. Amongst the African cult elements are dancing, drumming, believing in zombies and worshipping the ancestors. Voodoo ceremonies are lead by the so called Houngan or by a priestess called Mambo. During the ritual the believers call the Loa by drumming, dancing and singing, so that the dancers are seized by the spirits. Each dancer then behaves in a specific way which is typical of a particular Loa. While the dancer
    is in a trance or ecstasy, je performs healings and gives orders. There are rites of white magic (Umbanda) and of black magic (Quimbanda). In bloody ceremonies animals (which ought to have given their consent)are being slaughtered, in order to break the influence of black magic or to sooth the goddesses. Nowadays Voodoo is mainly practised in Haiti,but also in Cuba, Trinidad, Brazil and the South of the USA (State of Louisiana).
    Lets talk about music.
    Tallis first official album publication was the album Zombi Party,released in 1993. His band is a classic trio formation plus the saxophonist Jamie Oehlers.It would be wrong to categorize this album as Rock or Blues. Songs such as A Woman Is A Secret, Misquotes and In The Lonely Hours Of The Spirit are of course Rock music. Sometimes, Tallis voice reminds me of a moderate Roger Chapman, but then the saxophonist keeps interjecting and his style is miles away from any conventional
    Rockn Roll. This is something I would attribute to freestyle artists such as John Coltrane. Long improvisations, dispersed song structures,instrumental)incantations, important texts by the songwriter Tallis.Then all of a sudden, one finds himself back in a marching Rock song.
    Zombi Party is fascinating from its cover till the end of the
    album.It is not easy to listen to, intensive, confusing, beautiful,
    spooky. The whole album was recorded live and in only 15 hours. It does not sound like that, the sound is fantastic.
    The next album was recorded on a Friday, the 13th of December
    1996.Monkey Skulls And Thunderstones has a different concept. No more saxophone, instead acoustic guitar, violin and many exotic percussion instruments. An Indian drum called Dholak, a Kanjira, brushes, Talking Drum, Tibetan prayer bowls, an African rattle (caxixi), the Brazil berimbau.
    Steve Tallis uses instruments very scarcely; therefore the singer/songwriter comes to the fore. So does the bluesy side of the album. Tallis does seven interpretations of songs by Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly. Stripped to the bone – Blues with acoustic guitars, violin, harmonica and all the percussion instruments
    previously mentioned.
    Another fascinating aspect: it works!
    I dont know what year Leadbellys Looky Looky Yonder is from he died in 1949 -, but transporting his song into modern times works. Or maybe we are not dealing with modern times? Or rather a time of transition, a universe which has not revealed itself to us? Similar is the interpretation of Tom Waits Way Down In The Hole. Tallis does not deliver a co-version. He has made this song his own. He has adopted it;it is a newly created piece of work.
    Guitars and violins in Be The Echo Of My Cry all of a sudden remind one of gypsy music. In Screaming pure acoustic Rock is intonated, On A Monday Country Blues is sung a capella and Rock Island Line is sung in gospel fashion. All this give the impression of lightness and normality.This impression definitely seizes to exist when Lying With The Worms is up. Mysterious, mystic tones and sounds, a frightening and
    incanting text.
    Once again: I dont want to interpret. I dont have the necessary background and knowledge. But it is not possible to remain untouched by this music. When listening to the album at night I left the lights on. I felt uneasy and I had the feeling that I was not alone. But I was
    For me, Monkey Skulls And Thunderstones is one of the best acoustic albums ever. Nothing is predictable; there are surprises and bafflements all the time. One is also plagued by shudders, doubts and questions.That is also true for the final version of Black Betty. Only a man and his voice.
    “Zozo was voted the Blues album of the year 1999 by Australian
    magazines and if you want to find a pigeon hole for this album, then
    this is definitely justified.
    In 1997 Tallis was in India and influences of this trip can be found manyfold in this masterpiece. Steve himself describes his music as ” My kind of Blues Blues from the Maylands delta. Just leave it at that,since it is not possible to comprehend this album rationally.
    Tallis long-time companions Gary Ridge and Dave Clarke provide for the musical background with innumerable instruments. Mandolin,
    violin, the afore mentioned drums and other percussion instruments shape this album. However, the main influence is Tallis. His singing is even more intense than ever, the texts even more dangerous than before, the atmosphere even more intense. It is a trip into the world of a shaman, a Voodoo man. Who does not gain the highest respect for what is happening
    around him through listening to Cut Your Mouth Our Mama, has got a real
    understanding problem. Even the in itself harmless Gibson SG produces a (pleasant?) fright.
    Apart from one traditional song (Big Boat UpThe River), this album
    contains only originals. And they are something special! Short,
    incanting songs – which sound as if they were made for a ritual -change with long Blues interpretations. The listener loses himself in
    simple yet effective compositions. After a while you dont know anymore where a song starts and where it finishes. Everything is in flow, a flow which carries you away. But where to? It can no longer be determined why this album is so fascinating. Is it the twelve-string guitar, the drums,
    the violin, the voice, the texts?
    Albums by Steve Tallis and his Suicide Ghosts are not (yet) available in Germany. Readers who are courageous and eager for new sounds should hurry up if they want to discover Steve – before he discovers them

  • CORNSTALK (JANVIER MUSSON)
    CORNSTALK - JANVIER MUSSON - January 1, 2005

    Steve Talliss latest CD, Loko, (Zombi CD5, through MGM
    distribution) is the latest in this West coast musicians’musical /spiritual journey through the many layers of existence. His musical oeuvre embraces many cultures, but has a singular unifying theme. He blends Tribal chants, insistent primal beats, Folk & Blues roots, both black and white,together with modern and primitive acoustic instruments in a melting pot
    that has elements of Charley Patton, Howling Wolf, early Beefheart and even early Tyrannosaurus Rex, (before they went electric & made millions) but yet is uniquely Steve Tallis. Theres even a Scottish / Celtic /Northern European/Gypsy element surreptitiously weaving in and out here.
    Im not that familiar with Steves musical history, except to say that
    hes been around the traps awhile and has played in many varied musical combos over the years, before settling into his skin as it were, check out his website & learn more www.stevetallis.com
    LOKO is a beautifully packaged CD, with great photographs and layout and over 70 minutes of original music and it continues the Shamanistic theme of its 1999 predecessor ZOZO. Steve plays 6 & 12 string guitars and is ably assisted throughout the proceedings by Gary Ridge on drums and a variety of percussive devices, far too numerous to mention here and which Im sure make help the stage look extremely exotic at gigs and
    Dave Clarke on Violin, Harmonica & Sojo. They are The Holy Ghosts. The Trinity.
    The opening track, The Blessing deposits you straight into the heart of a tribal celebration laying the foundation for the transformation into Animal and onto the veneration of Papa Loko. Steve firmly believes in the existence & relevance of the spirit world & the power that music & chant play within it. Steve Tallis is a musical shaman and hes channeling the spirits that fuel the fire in his soul & setting
    them free in your living room.
    Dynamite lets you know, in no uncertain terms, that these forces are explosive.
    This is a powerful record, well recorded & produced by the same team responsible for ZOZO Steve is certainly wearing his heart on his sleeve on this record and hes telling it like it is the way he sees it. He doesnt pull any punches. Will this record drive out the demons in your soul, or will it invite them in, like some kind of musical feng shui? I cant help you on that one, but you could do a lot worse than trying it out in the privacy of your own home and judging the results for yourself.
    After having listened to this CD a few times now, Id like to see
    Steve Tallis and the Holy Ghosts live in action So should you
    If you have any doubts about that, LOKO will convince you otherwise.

    Janvier Musson – January 2005

  • CHAOZ – AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF MAGICK (WENDY EVERSEN)
    CHAOZ - AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF MAGICK - WENDY EVERSEN - December 1, 2004

    CHAOZ – Australian Journal Of Magick – December 2004

    In this collection of songs Steve captivates the nativity of spiritual enhance. Each song is a compilation of alternative sounds and the use of various synchronicities of indigenous aspects are absolutely magnificent.
    From tribal to solo and acoustic chants this album is one to truly
    listen intrinsically to, the stories that Steve conveys within his music are truly ancestral and animalistic in nature. The rhythmic beats used as the underlying
    tempos enhances meditative states, and for some, magnify profound inner feelings and sensualities,
    and can even alter states of consciousness. To the listener the rhythms are symbiotic of the beat within our souls, our spirits reaching out and encompassing our need to move, to open our minds, our hearts to the rhythms of life.
    The accentuation of the beat in Track 3 – Papa Loko especially creates an altered sense of being, and have personally noticed that my own heartbeat normalizes with the sameness with the beat of this Track. Steve manages to capture all aspects of the psyche and cycles of life within his music.
    I would highly recommend all the albums that Steve produces.

    Wendy Eversen
    December 2004

  • NEW ZEALAND BLUES SOCIETY (MIKE GARNER)
    NEW ZEALAND BLUES SOCIETY - MIKE GARNER - March 31, 2005

    by Mike Garner

    Loko
    The blessing; animal; papa loko; healing by the first intention; my hands are on fire; coward howard; prayer wheel; kama; dynamite; out of control; from disease; my conscience is clear; stop the racist bus; for god’s sake; sacred love

    West Australian, Steve Tallis, is a highly original singer songwriter, whose music defies ‘pigeon holing’. And that’s a good thing because he mixes elements of world musics yet retaining a ‘sound’ that is his own. This recording is all acoustic, featuring Tallis on guitars, lots of percussion (Gary Ridge must have a trunk load of things to tap on and rattle!) with Dave Clarke’s violin on most tracks.

    There are some excellent sounds in this recording, good guitar and percussion tones; the album sounds particularly good on headphones, a great sense of space. Perhaps this is part of the inspiration for Tallis, since some of the songs and liner notes suggest a strong interest in the spirituality of indigenous peoples.

    Coward Howard displays a lot of Tallis anger against ‘Coward Howard’ “where talk is cheap, moral cowardice reigns”. Tallis is capable of powerful lyric writing; “I’ve drifted into valleys dark place, suspended in blessings and violence’ and I would have like a booklet with the CD, transcribing the lyrics. “Felt like a stick of dynamite water at the side of fire, at the centre of the sky”, there is much that is thought provoking in his work and you can enjoy it at two levels, one with beer in hand, grooving to the rhythms, the other, listening intently to what he is revealing.

    Stop The Racist Bus needs no explanation, nor does For God’s Sake or Sacred Love, which are much more overt expressions of Tallis’ spirituality. Whether these supply any answers to questions which lyrics in other songs on this provoke is for you to ponder.

    All in all, this is a powerful album, thought provoking and brooding.

    http://www.stevetallis.com/

    31/03/2005

  • SA ROOTS ‘N’ BLUES (DAVID STOECKEL)
    SA ROOTS 'N' BLUES - DAVID STOECKEL - March 7, 2005

    Steve Tallis and the Holy Ghosts: LOKO

    Primal snarls of discontent by blues shaman
    Welcome to LOKO, a moving and transforming listening experience. Here you will find no melody of contentment, no chorus of tranquility. Instead you will be greeted by the primal snarls of discontent by blues shaman Steve Tallis.

    This medicine man offers no celebratory chants to the abundance of game, no uplifting incantations for a bountiful harvest. His chants tell of dark places, of alien lands abound with thunderclouds, serpents, hellhounds and pain. Tallis alerts us to lurking dark spirits but offers no healing, no protection from them. Here there is only only salvation through reveling in one’s own spiritual and emotional despair. Come to LOKO land if you dare. Are you up for the journey? You will find it a strangely exhilarating and transforming experience.

    “I m bound for another land …
    Ive drifted into valleys and dark places …
    My soul cries out my heart is bleeding
    I feel nothing inside, My emotions have died
    I know now its time to heal myself again.”
    Steve Tallis

    Musically this CD has an earthiness about it. It is acoustic, rootsy and emphatically rhythmic. Holy ghosts! A haunting Appalachian richness is induced by the presence of Dave Clarke’s beautiful violin playing. Vocals and driving acoustic guitar rhythms are by Steve Tallis and assorted tribal percussion by Gary Ridge. Fifteen absorbing tracks that offer over 70 minutes of mesmerizing music, this is a musical journey that you need to take! Visit Tallis online at:
    http://www.stevetallis.com
    and add Loko to your CD collection now!

    David Stoeckel
    7th March 2005

  • BLUES AUSTRIA (AUSTRIA)
    BLUES AUSTRIA (AUSTRIA) - January 13, 2005

    CD-Cover Von der anderen Seite der Erde, genauer gesagt aus Australien, hat uns vor kurzem eine CD von Steve Tallis erreicht.

    Steve Tallis persnliche Wurzeln liegen in Mazedonien, er selbst sieht sich als “australischer Kosmopolit” .Das London der sechziger, New York, oder Indien waren andere Stationen seiner Reise. Stationen, die natrlich auch Spuren in seiner Musik hinterlassen haben.

    Das neueste Werk, “Loko” ,zeugt von diesen Spuren. Sichtlich dem Blues
    entsprungen, wie so viele andre Musik auch, doch von diesem weit
    entfernt. Am ehesten noch an den Blues eines Otis Taylors erinnernd, zu fremdartig die Instrumentalisierung, zu berraschend das Arrangement .
    Viele Instrumente, die man sonst nur in der Ethno- Abteilung der
    Klangfarbe sieht, kommen hier zum Einsatz. Verleihen dem an sich schon dstren Blues von Tallis akustischer Gitarre noch zustzlich eine fremde, bedrohliche Note.
    Trstend vertraut, wenn einmal eine Harp erklingt. Es erinnert dann doch ein wenig an zuhause, an gewohnte, ausgetretene Musikpfade.
    Tallis Stimme ist sehr intensiv, eindringlich die Botschaft seiner Texte verkndend. Mich erinnert sie zeitweise ein wenig an Captain Beefheart, allerdings weniger grummelnd. Er bezeichnet sich selbst als “Griot”, “Boko”, “Alchemist” und hnlichem. Am zutreffensten finde ich “Schamane”
    Begleitet wird Steve Tallis von den Holy Ghosts welche Gary Ridge
    (Unmengen Percusionistrumente ) und Dave Clark, der vor allem an der
    Violine auftritt.

    Am ehesten knnte man Steve Tallis wahrscheinlich mit J.Lightning and
    Bad Influence vergleichen.

    Alles im allem ein Musiker der in der zunehmend experimentierfreudiger
    werdenden Wiener Szene sicher seine Freunde finden wird.

    13th January 2005

  • FOLK WORLD (GERMANY) (TOM KELLER)
    FOLK WORLD (GERMANY) - TOM KELLER - January 1, 2005

    “Imagine Bob Dylan or Tom Waits planted in the Australian desert, a
    mysterious prophet and seer preaching his gospel. If it comes to songwriting, Steve Tallis has the same abilities to write a perfect song as Bob and Tom. The griot from down under with Macedonian ancestors is grown up with ethnic music and the blues and rock’n’roll of the 1960’s, but his “Loko” transcends pop, blues, jazz and folk. Music is more than
    entertainment, people must be spiritually moved by the songs. Steve is a unique artist with a cracked voice, the music is flowing, dark and hypnotic.His band, the Holy Ghosts, adds the finishing touch to Steve’s
    acoustic guitar riffs with fiddle, harmonica and percussion. Call it
    voodoo blues, zombified acid blues, it sends shivers down the spine and
    drives the demons out.”

    Zombi Music/Steve Tallis

    Walkin’ T:-)M
    (Tom Keller @ Folk World Germany – http://www.folkworld.de)

    Issue #30 – January 2005

  • SYDNEY BLUES SOCIETY (GARY DEWALL)
    SYDNEY BLUES SOCIETY - GARY DEWALL - September 1, 2004

    “Like its predecessors(Zozo, Monkey Skulls and Thunderstones and Zombi Party), Loko is a challenging album. Once again, Steve had presented us with an eccentric collection of songs about vodou, religion, spirits, black magic, death, the occult, the state of the world and our place in it. Songs like Coward Howard and Stop The Racist Bus sit the album firmly in 21st Century Australia.

    Blues? Not as we’ve come to know it. Roots? Definitely, and probably further back into the roots of blues than most of us usually go, with its exploration of African(and West Indian?) rhythms, instruments, cultures, and beliefs.

    Steve’s singing and guitar playing are as strong as ever,(he plays 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars, handclaps and beijo(?)), and once again he’s joined by 2 of Perth’s most talented and versatile musicians. Previously seen as the “Suicide Ghosts”, percussionist Gary Ridge and multi-instrumentalist Dave Clarke reappear as the “Holy Ghosts”. Gary is credited with agogo, bells, berimbau, caxixi, congas, dholak, drums, guiro, handclaps, kanjira, pandeiro, shakers, surdos, tamborins, triangle and udu pot. Dave contributes violin, mouth organ, handclaps and sojo (which sounds like a sort of banjo / mandolin).

    On most songs, Steve lays down a big solid rhythm and basic melody with the guitar, Gary supports it and augments it with busy and interesting percussion, and Dave weaves his beautiful harmonica, violin and sojo through the mix. The rhythms are generally repetitive and hypnotic (trance – inducing?), and the songs are generally 5 to 6 minutes long, so the rhythm really pulls you in.

    I reckon this CD isn’t for every blues lover, and I’m not even sure I’ve described it accurately. Many of the instruments are unknown to me (and couldn’t be found on an internet search), and many of the lyrics escape me. But it sure is an interesting album, and you get something new out of each listen.

    Look for it at www.stevetallis.com or call 0411 559 264 to talk to Steve.”

    Gary deWall @ Sydney Blues Society – Blues Times
    September 2004 Issue 139

  • ACOUSTIC GUITAR MAGAZINE (USA) (GARY JOYNER)
    ACOUSTIC GUITAR MAGAZINE (USA) - GARY JOYNER - December 7, 2004

    Steve Tallis huge, clanging acoustic guitar sound dominates every track of Loko with repeating rock-inflected chord riffs, while his band, the Holy Ghosts, fills the dark terrain with floating violin, accordion, harmonica, and percussion instruments that support his quavering, tightly strained, and rasping voice. Together they create a sort of postmodern Australian shaman music that is inspiring and addictive. Loko opens with primitive handclaps and a Blessing that takes us to a rocky ledge in a distant mystic desert. After listening to Tallis summon an animalistic shape for himself in Animal, you may find spirits skulking in the corner of the room. And there is no pretension in lyrics like Cover up my body with leaves / Smoke the demons out and My hands are on fire! (from Healing by the First Intention). Immersed in the overall sound, they will give you chills. (Zombi)

    December 7th, 2004

    (Included in “Best Albums of 2004” list in Acoustic Guitar Magazine)

  • MUZIEKKRANT (BELGIUM)
    MUZIEKKRANT (BELGIUM) - December 7, 2004

    CD-RECENSIE: STEVE TALLIS & THE HOLY GHOSTS: LOKO

    De Australische singer/songwriter Steve Tallis wordt door insiders vergeleken met Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart en door Mike Oldfield met Bill Laswell. Lee Underwood, ex-gitarist van Tim Buckley, drukte zich in een schrijven naar Tallis als volgt uit: Your musical sensibility is deep, your singing incredibly strong, your writing excellent, your guitar playing superb. I think you have it all to connect with an international audience. I can feel the passion and intensity directly and you have talent and integrity, all of which open up a wide spectrum of possibilities. Zo lezen we op www.stevetallis.com, waar hij zonder schroom daar nog aan toevoegt dat Tim Buckley zijn muziek maar wat graag zou hebben gehoord. Hebben wij natuurlijk niks meer op te zeggen. De muzikale begeleiding is sober maar klinkt toch (te) vol en Tallis gebruikt behalve gitaren, harmonica, percussie en viool een hoop minder bekende instrumenten zoals agogo, berimbau, dholak, guiro, beijo, en sojo. Afwisseling genoeg dus. Zijn stem zit ergens tussen het nasale van Bob Dylan en Don Van Vliet in en dat werkt in combinatie met de spaarzame en soms stereotiepe begeleiding na enkele nummers wat op de zenuwen. De viool van Dave Clarke redt songs als het politiek gengageerde Coward Howard, My conscience is clear en Healing by the first intention nog maar bij het zeven minuten eeuwigdurende Prayer wheel en de te lange intro bij Out of control, die niks te maken heeft met de rest van de song, gaan de tenen echt krullen. Tallis dweept ook wat met de indianencultuur en vermeldt, o namedropping, zijn overleden helden Don Cherry, Thelonius Monk, Charlie Parker, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Billie Holiday maar in n adem ook Alan Lomax en Dusty Springfield. Allemaal een beetje overdreven correct toch maar wie ben ik vergeleken met Oldfield, Underwood en Buckley?

    **
    Zombi Music zombicd5 (distr. Parsifal)
    OV
    December 7th, 2004

  • LA HORA DEL BLUES (SPAIN) (VICENTE ZUMEL)
    LA HORA DEL BLUES (SPAIN) - VICENTE ZUMEL - December 1, 2004

    Steve Tallis & The Holy Ghosts “Loko”. Zombi Music 2004.

    En Australia comentan que Steve Tallis es un msico excntrico, extravagante, curioso, trascendental, un poco loco… y muchos otros calificativos parecidos. Lo que personalmente s puedo afirmar es que Tallis es diferente, personal, creativo, original, lleno de fantasa, potico, intimista, sagaz, crtico, atrevido y probablemente genial. En este ltimo trabajo, ‘Loko’ el enorme talento de Steve Tallis supera con creces su anterior ‘Zozo’. Su capacidad creativa sobrepasa en muchos enteros aquel y la inspiracin que se desprende de este ltimo catapulta a Tallis entre uno de los mas grandes visionarios musicales de la Australia actual. En ‘Loko’ nuestro hombre cocina con suave fragancia y grandes dosis de especias, quince platos exquisitos con unos ingredientes que van de Bob Dylan, Tom Waits o Captain Beefheart hasta Frank Zappa, Ian Dury o Lou Reed, todo ello sazonado con ese estilo propio, nico y fascinante que le distingue de entre todos los cantautores contemporneos de su misma generacin. BUENO.

    Australian people say Steve Tallis is an eccentric, original, flamboyant, significant, a little crazy musician among other similar adjectives that could be employed to define him. I can say Tallis is different, very personal, creative, unique, full of imagination and poetry, intimistic, shrewd, critical, daring and probably a genius. In Loko, this last piece of work, the huge talent and creativity of Steve Tallis exceeds his previous Zozo cd. The amazing inspiration captured in this cd shoot Tallis to become one of the greatest australian actual musical visionaries. In Loke Steve cooks a fifteen delicious spicy dishes, all them done with such great ingredients like Bob Dylan, Tom Waits or Capitan Beefheart or even Frank Zappa, Ian Dury or Lou Reed influences, all salted with the own personal captivating unique musical style that makes him different from other contemporary songsters of his generation. VERY GOOD.

    December 2004

  • FOLKER MAGAZINE (GERMANY) ( MIKE KAMP)
    FOLKER MAGAZINE (GERMANY) - MIKE KAMP - August 1, 2004

    Die neueste Scheibe des verschrobenen Australischen Liedermachers lasst jeden. Fan von Bands wie 16 Horsepower oder Hank Shizzoe aufhorchen. Mit Band klingt Steve Tallis noch eindringlicher. Songs, die einem den Schlaf rauben; Songs, die man nachspielen mochte und mitsingen muss.

    Issue July – August 2004

  • PELICAN (MATT COWGILL)
    PELICAN - MATT COWGILL - October 23, 2020

    The latest instalment in local bluesman Steve Tallis 40 year career is a flawed yet ultimately agreeable sojourn through the various permutations of roots music that comprise Tallis influences. His work is not dissimilar to latter day Dylan, incorporating the raspy vocals and layered instrumentation of Time Out of Mind. On Loko, Tallis and his Holy Ghosts traipse through the muddy waters of various blues traditions, with the sounds of Africa resonating particularly strongly. Its refreshing to encounter a white Western blues performer not content to merely ape the Chicago blues sound, with Tallis assimilating the oeuvre of the American greats along with sounds indigenous to Africa. However, Tallis still seems overshadowed by his influences, varied though they may be. Lyrically, Tallis tends to trade in well-worn stock imagery (the entirety of Track Four) or clumsy political sloganeering (such as on the bigotry bus I dont wanna ride/ open your eyes, dont be so blind or the trite and obvious rhyming of coward and Howard) and his voice too often seems a composite of those of Tallis idols. Musically, however, Tallis and the band frequently create sounds all of their own. A repetitive acoustic guitar figure frequently forms the core of the composition, with the Holy Ghosts given free reign to improvise rather impressively. Fiddle sounds that echo Desire-era Rolling Thunder Dylan are particularly effective, and the Tom Waits-style approach to rhythmic accoutrements bolsters Tallis songs with instrumental depth. A high-point is Track Three, which effectively builds tension around an engaging guitar part and echo-laden Tallis vocal. However, the free-flowing one-take nature of the recordings leads to occasional divergences into indulgence, and Tallis songs frequently endure long after theyve made their musical and lyrical point. Nevertheless, Loko is an amiable genre exercise, albeit one that fails to emerge with a distinct identity from the shadows of Tallis gargantuan influences.

  • BARFLY MAGAZINE (TONY HILLIER)
    BARFLY MAGAZINE - TONY HILLIER - October 23, 2020

    Perth troubadour Steve Tallis has ploughed his own idiosyncratic furrow for a number of years now, harvesting a swag of self-financed albums from his highly individualistic and uncompromising approach to music-making. At its extremes you can detect elements of Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits or Howling Wolf in his singing; at his most accessible Tallis is more reminiscent of Dave Mathews or even John Butler. His sound shares the same relentless groove that characterised Butler’s first two albums, but his guitar playing, while equally rhythmic, lacks the same potency.

    Even with the Holy Ghosts input, Gary Ridge providing a wide variety of percussion and Dave Clarke soaring (sawing sometimes) on violin, sojo and mouth organ, there is a samey feel to many of the 15 tracks. The paucity of bridges and middle eights doesn’t help.

    Although Loko doesn’t really live up to the promise of the early tracks perhaps the groove simply grinds you down it does have its moments. Sadly, the cliched Coward Howard and Stop the Racist Bus, while admirably accurate in their sentiments, aren’t among them. The spiritually uplifting Healing By The First Intention, Prayer Wheel and Out of Control (the last-named with its mantra, “When I sing my soul is free”) are certainly among the highlights, while Dynamite and Animal are among the album’s most accessible cuts.

    Tony Hillier @ Barfly Magazine (Cairns, QLD) – Issue 529

  • DAILY TIMES – LAHORE – PAKISTAN – OCTOBER 23, 2003
    DAILY TIMES - LAHORE - PAKISTAN - Anjum Gill - October 23, 2003

    Guitarist Steve Tallis lights up festival!

    By Anjum Gill – Daily Times – Lahore (Pakistan) – October 23rd 2003

    LAHORE: Australian Steve Tallis enchanted Lahoris with a phenomenal performance on guitar at the World Performing Arts Festival 2003 on a chilly Wednesday night at the Alhamra Cultural Complex.

    His magical guitar playing with vocalist Sher Miandad and tabla player Ballo Khan was a fusion similar to some music by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, but with a distinctive style.

    A lot of my music is improvised and spontaneous. Pakistanis can find similarities and relate to it, Mr Tallis told Daily Times. Language is no barrier in music. It is the spirit of the music that carries you away. Music is a healing force and spiritual experience.

    Mr Tallis has played with some of the biggest names in music, including Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, BB King, Ben Harper and many others from the United States, Europe and Asia.

    He said African, Haitian, and Islamic music as well as Vodoo, Sufism and Tantric Buddhism have all had a spiritual influence on his work. About his experience in Pakistan, Tallis said, I enjoyed playing here. It was a marvellous experience. I love Pakistani people, their music, culture, food and Sufism.

    Mr Tallis said the Pakistan he had found was very different to the image of it in the West. I would encourage people from around the world to come here and see what the place is really like, he said.

  • XPRESS MAGAZINE (MIKE WAFER) – MARCH 4TH 2004 – INTERVIEW
    XPRESS MAGAZINE - MIKE WAFER - March 4, 2004

    Mike Wafer @ XPress Magazine – March 4th 2004

    Rock interview – Steve Tallis

    An intrepid traveller and adventurer, Steve Tallis has roamed the world as both a music student and music teacher all at once. His latest album Loko is the culmination of years’ worth of work and a lifetime’s worth of living. Tallis and his band The Holy Ghosts launch Loki this Sunday, March 7, at Tsunami. MIKE WAFER reports.

    Tallis is as willing and able to talk as he is to sing. He is, for want of a better word, a storyteller. Regardless of medium, Tallis has developed the art of self expression to a reflex action, and does so without apology and without self-restraint. For as many years as he has been conscious he has been an untamed spirit writhing within a physical being that fights for dear life to contain this wild soul. The physical is of course merely a vessel for the soul, a biomechanical instrument made up of seamless working parts, electrical signals and chemicals to allow the mind within to articulate its hypotheses and conclusions.

    Among physical expressions, Tallis has chosen the ancient practise of yoga and the equally ancient practise of voodoo to transfer his spirit to the physical world, but it is undoubtedly through manipulation of both his voice and inanimate musical instruments that he has truly left his spiritual mark on the world. His exploration of Asian and African religious practise is interlinked with his exploration of the various music from these vast and multi-faceted regions, and although he himself draws inspiration from them, and incorporates fundamental elements into his own music, he does so with a level of respect for their original intention in mind.

    “Music has the same effect on me spiritually as yoga does, but when I practise yoga I practise it to music that I connect with in every other situation. Coltrane or Captain Beefheart could be my yoga music, for instance. It’s only because people have been conditioned to think that practises such as yoga require some kind of ‘new age’ music that most people would assume it is so, which I dislike intensely. That whole new age thing is so insipid. I love Indian music and I love Pakistani music, but new age music is true to neither. The records I have listened to all my life, and new music I have come across along the way has had a deep psychological impact on me, and that can be any style of music. Music doesn’t have to be a certain way to fit an occasion, that’s just conditioning.” Tallis explains.

    Tallis also has a slight disdain for what is commonly referred to as ‘world music’ even though his own work is often misrepresented as such by people who, assumedly, take Tallis’ expressed love of music of the world to mean something categorically different. World music as a title invokes a certain preconception, mostly due to the conditioning Tallis explained in regard to new age music, and his point is that how can the vastly different styles of continents, let alone their regions, be classified as the same thing? Tallis’ envelopment of pre and post-slavery blues, north and east Asian instrumentalisation and vocalisation, Gaelic and contemporary folk music and so on could not even be imagined as being the same sum as its parts, could it? Thankfully not in Tallis’ own eyes. For the man himself, music is about the past, the present, the future and the timeless bond between the three that exists beyond the here and now.

    “I have always tried to do a similar thing with my music that the music I love has done to me. I played in Pakistan recently and each of the three shows I played with different Pakistani musicians. Each show, and they were to huge crowds of thirty thousand people, was a different lineup, and I didn’t know exactly who I was going to be playing with until we were all on stage. That is right into my musical philosophy playing with different musicians, and having that very improvisational feel. For me music is a language. You don’t necessarily need to understand the words, because the emotions are present.”

    If not for the fact that all music is an expression of emotion of some description, Tallis almost disproved the above theory that the music of different cultures can not be explained under one global moniker, but the common bond between Pakistani music, the blues, aboriginal psalm and so forth is not that they exist outside of Anglo-Saxon ethnicity, but that they are all expressions of the human soul. That is why, on the most basic level, there is a common bond between the music of the world, and the music of neon western culture. It is the communication without words, the connection without physical touch the desire and ability of all human beings to celebrate life through an unfathomable combination of 12 notes.

    “Music is a very spiritual thing for me, but I think it is for many people. Everyone who listens to music, or plays music is connected to it somehow, and it can’t really be explained in simple terms. I think music and spirituality are intrinsically linked, perhaps not so much in our western pop culture, but that is a personal thing. I love listening to a good pop song, but there has to be a link. A song is a writer’s personal statement.”

  • AUSTRALIAN MUSIC COMMUNITY (EVAN ALEXANDER)
    AUSTRALIAN MUSIC COMMUNITY - EVAN ALEXANDER - May 18, 2004

    The production on the acoustic guitar provides a firm and worldly tone and coupled with the driven intensity of his vocal performance, “Loko” is an earthy, inspired and genuinely authentic effort…

    “Loko” utilises traditional African instruments (congas, berimbau) blended with violins, harmonica and acoustic guitar, wrapped round themes of sacred texts, karma, and racism. The locally produced album, from West Australian bluesman Steve Tallis, could easily have been an overextension, but due primarily to the obvious sincerity of his intentions, solid songs and the Tom Waits’ styled gravel in his voice, he pulls it off with aplomb.

    The production on the acoustic guitar provides a firm and worldly tone and coupled with the driven intensity of his vocal performance, “Loko” is an earthy, inspired and genuinely authentic effort.

    18.5.2004

  • CONCERTO MAGAZINE – AUSTRIA (DIETMAR HOCHER)
    CONCERTO MAGAZINE - AUSTRIA - DIETMAR HOCHER - October 23, 2020

    PORTRAIT

    Weltenwanderer Steve Tallis

    Mit welchen Ausdrcken wurde der Mann nicht schon bedacht! Auf seiner Homepage erklrt er selbst Begriffe wie Griot, Shaman, Boko, Baul oder Alchemist. Mglicherweise trifft gerade Letzteres den Kern der Sache besonders treffend.

    Musikalisch gemeint, versteht sich. Denn Steve Tallis, der australische Kosmopolit mit mazedonischen Vorfahren, versteht sich unzweifelhaft in der (antiken) Kunst des Brauens geheimnisvoller Mixturen. Die knstlerischen Ingredienzien dazu entnimmt er verschiedensten Kulturen und bleibt dennoch seinem eigenen, schwer ergrndbaren Konzept treu. Autobiographisch gesehen ursprnglich tief im Blues verwurzelt, hat sich der 52jhrige ber die Jahrzehnte mittlerweile jeder Kategorisierung erfolgreich entzogen und ldt so zu spannenden Expeditionen in verschlungene Hrwelten ein.
    Aufgewachsen mit ethnischen Musikeinflssen Griechenlands, Jugoslawiens, Bulgariens oder der Trkei wandte sich der Jngling zunchst der in den Sechzigern populren, elektrischen Blues- und RnB-Szene vorexerziert von den Bands der britischen Insel zu. Garage aber auch Spielfreude pur! Folgerichtig fhrte ihn sein geographischer Weg auch nach London, spter nach New York oder Indien. Tallis blieb diesem Stil indes lnger treu als manche andere. Wie anhand seiner Independent-8CD-Box (!) Anthology Volume One unschwer nachvollziehbar, begann die Suche nach Neuem insbesondere mit Beginn der Achtzigerjahre des abgelaufenen Jahrhunderts. Man muss die Menschen auch spirituell berhren, umschreibt Tallis seinen Ansatz. Wer der Schnheit des Tallisschen Oeuvres nher zu kommen versucht, muss mag es klischeehaft klingen oder auch nicht tatschlich selbst hren, um einschtzen und verstehen zu knnen.
    Die Reise beginnt also mit ersten juvenilen Gehversuchen in der Garage, zunchst typische 60s-Bluesrockpunk-Covers, bald auch psychedelisch verpackt. Die Doors schimmern da durch, aber auch bereits erste afrikanische Rhythmen, die Spteres andeuten ohne es vorwegzunehmen. Mitte der Siebziger weicht der starke Bluesbezug zunehmend dessen baby dem RocknRoll -, gleichzeitig vermeint man Nick Drake ebenso zitierend zu vernehmen wie etwa Santana, die Faces, Tim Buckley oder Joe Jackson. Dann der geglckte Sprung in jazzige Gewsser, improvisiert flieend, islamische Gesnge verbunden mit african drums. Die Suche nach unterschiedlichen Klngen mndet kurzzeitig in einem Kettensgenorchester, um dann doch zumindest geringfgig massenkompatibler zwischen Tom Waits und Free Jazz zu pendeln. Trotz all dieser Genrewechsel wirkt Tallis jedoch in keiner Phase zerissen oder gar orientierungslos, vielmehr selbstbestimmt, -bewut und authentisch. Tallis beschftigt sich mit Voodoo und der Bibel ebenso wie mit Hinduismus, Sufismus oder den Ureinwohnern Amerikas und wohl auch Australiens, wovon insbesondere seine neuesten Werke Zeugnis ablegen. Wie das Tontrgerrepertoire des Musikers belegt, scheint Tallis aber kein verklrter, introvertierter Elfenbeinturmanbeter zu sein. Ich mchte Musik teilen und nicht nur im Schlafzimmer spielen. Viele vergessen, dass es darum geht, zu teilen, hielt er einmal fest.
    Eigenwilligkeit als Markenzeichen, irgendwo zwischen dem zitierten Tom Waits, Lead Belly und Bob Dylan mit Bluesroots, Jazz- und Folkpartikeln, eingebettet in originelle Arrangements, dargeboten mit einprgsamer Stimme, bisweilen field-holler-artig, dann wieder hektisch blserversetzt. Verzweigte Collagen, percussiongeprgt mit Rainstick, Cymbals oder tibetanischen Gebetskugeln. Voodoo Blues, Hoodoo Man, Australian Griot, Zombified Acid Blues oder Blues Shaman, abermals Bezeichnungen, die versuchen, das nicht wirklich Greifbare in Bilder zu kleiden, deren Allgemeinverstndlichkeit unterdessen ihrerseits selbst im Halbdunkel liegen.
    Loko, das jngste und wohl bisher zentrale Unternehmen geriert sich als multikulturelles, abermals genrebergreifendes Meisterwerk. Vergleichbar in Anstzen mit Otis Taylor oder Calvin Russell, ein akustisches Album, das wie einem unentdeckten Naturgesetz folgend aber auch frhe Pink Floyd neben Robert Allen Zimmerman stellt und dennoch unabnderlich Steve Tallis bleibt. Tolle Melodien wechseln mit nahezu hypnotischen Passagen, verwirrend dennoch in ihrer offenkundigen Zugnglichkeit. Spirituell eben! Dietmar Hocher

    cd-tipps:
    Steve Tallis Anthology Volume One The Sacred Path Of The Fried Egg Maylands To The Gates Of Hell 1962 2001,
    8-CD-Box, Zombi Music CD4
    Steve Tallis Zombi Party,
    Zombi Music CD1
    Steve Tallis Monkey Skulls And Thunderstones, Zombi Music CD2
    Steve Tallis Zozo,
    Zombi Music PCD03
    Steve Tallis Loko,
    Zombi Music CD5
    Bezug: Glitterhouse Records
    web-tipp:
    http://www.stevetallis.com
    Kontakt:
    Zombi Music, PO Box 8327 PBC, Western Australia 6849, Tel.: 61-(0)-411 559 264

    [Illustration: CD-Covers bzw. Fotos von Homepage http://www.stevetallis.com ]
  • HOME OF ROCK – FRED SCHMIDTLEIN (GERMANY)
    HOME OF ROCK (GERMANY) - FRED SCHMIDTLEIN - August 29, 2004

    Vor zwei Jahren durfte ich ber die CDs “Zombi Party”, “Monkey Skulls And Thunderstones und “ZOZO” des Schamanen aus Australien berichten. Einige Begriffe aus der Welt des Steve Tallis habe ich dabei versucht zu erklren, ebenso habe ich versucht die Musik dieses nicht kategorisierbaren Musikers mit seinen vielen Einflssen zu beschreiben. Inzwischen liegt mir seit einigen Monaten die neue CD vor und ich bin seitdem immer wieder an diesem Artikel gescheitert. Einmal fehlten mir schlicht die Worte, ein andermal trug mich die hypnotische Wirkung von “Loko” einfach weg in einen Zustand, der Meditation hnlich kommt. Wer an dieser Stelle als erfahrener Home-of-Rock-Leser stutzt und sich fragt, wie denn ausgerechnet dieser stadtbekannte schreibende Rock & Roller von Meditation sprechen kann… bitte taucht ein in die Musik des Steve Tallis!

    Wir sprechen hier nicht von banaler (Rock) Musik, wir mssen von Spiritualitt, Geheimnissen, ethnischen Zusammenhngen, Riten und Dmonen aus der Schattenwelt und auch bzw. vor allem dem real existierenden menschlichen Verhalten sprechen. Steve Tallis ist nmlich mitnichten ein weltfremder Spinner der sich eine verquaste Aura zurecht legt, er ist ein klarst denkender Analyst und Verfechter von menschlichen Grundrechten. Letztendlich also ein Humanist im Sinne des Dalai Lama. Sein Vehikel ist die Musik, seine Symbolik bezieht sich oft auf buddhistische Hintergrnde, seine Aussagen sind am Schluss einfach und klar und deutlich zu verstehen.
    Wir wissen, dass Themen wie Mystik, Krper und Geist oder ganz allgemein Esoterik in Australien wesentlich offener und bereitwilliger akzeptiert und auch gelehrt werden. Der Griot (siehe bitte hierzu die Besprechung der drei lteren CDs) Steve Tallis ist an einem Punkt angelangt, den viele nchtern denkende Materialisten niemals erreichen knnen (sein eigener Premierminister Howard brigens auch nicht – den spricht er in Coward Howard direkt an). Trotzdem versucht er uns mit seiner Musik zu lehren, dass die Welt nicht nur rund ist. “We are all equal in any gods eye” singt er in Stop the Racist Bus. Diese Botschaft sollte bei jedem ankommen.

    Steve Tallis and the Holy Ghosts verzichten gnzlich auf elektrisch verstrkte Instrumente. Ein faszinierendes Sammelsurium exotischer Percussioninstrumente, Gitarren, Harp, Violine und Stimme erzeugen die Magie dieses Albums. Die Bezeichnung Blues kme einer Kastration gleich, ich will es als eine Art Ethno-World-Blues mit Einflssen von Bob Dylan bis John Cale benennen und auch das trifft nicht den Kern. Freiheit, Unabhngigkeit und Expressionismus in einer auf Rootsmusic basierenden avantgardistischen Form vielleicht eher? Ich wei es nicht. Findet es selbst raus.

    Glcklicherweise sind alle CDs von Steve Tallis inzwischen bei Glitterhouse erhltlich. Ein Auftritt beim nchsten Orange Blossom Special Festival wre ganz sicher ein Highlight fr die wissbegierigen Zuhrer und auch fr den Footballfan Tallis. Vielleicht denkt Glitterhouse-Chef Reinhard mal drber nach.

    Fred Schmidtlein, (Impressum, Artikelliste), 29.08.2004

  • LE DOCTEUR BLUES (JEROME TRAVERS – LE DOC)
    LE DOCTEUR BLUES - JEROME TRAVERS - LE DOC - September 1, 2004

    For those of you who believe that youve always known everything about the Blues, it could be that you would be very surprised by an artist who comes to us from the Antipodes. If you admire the declamatory style of Otis Taylor, in another genre, but just as personal, Steve Tallis CD should prolong your pleasure, verily your ecstasy. Ah yes, we continue to be impressed by the Australian son. Meet a shaman.

    If the title of the album sounds like a promise of escape, it is quite Steves voice which seizes the ear and which attracts us from afar: a voice full of conviction moving mountains carried by a spearing acoustic rhythm. It hypnotises you, creating a curious change between you and the artist. A memory of magic waves holds you immobile contemplating an arid red and brown ocean.

    Corpse-like style, crude art:
    Steve is accompanied by 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars sounding exotic chords which I leave you the task of analysing

    The two phantoms (The Holy Ghosts) who between them share the tasks of violin, percussion, harmonica and diverse noises slide and roll perfectly next to the writer.

    A total engagement and a rich musical vocabulary prove to us that Steve is far from being a beginner, he has already built a beautiful career, I warmly invite you to discover it on his very attractive Internet site.

    Finally, this precious collection of tribal Folk Blues, will be my little feature for the holidays, after all, if you want to share it.

    ***********************************
    http://www.docteurblues.com/nuke/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=368

    Vous qui croyez tout savoir sur le blues depuis toujours, il se pourrait que vous puissiez tre surpris par un artiste qui nous vient des antipodes. Si le style dclamatoire dOtis Taylor vous laisse admiratif alors, dans un autre genre, mais tout aussi personnel, le CD de Steve Tallis devrait prolonger votre plaisir, voire votre extase Eh oui Nous continuons dtre branch par la filire australienne Rendez-vous avec un Chamane.

    Si le titre de lalbum sonne comme une promesse dvasion, cest bien la voix de Steve qui saisie loreille et qui nous entrane au loin : une voix pleine de conviction ? bouger des montagnes porte par une rythmique acoustique
    lancinante. Elle vous hypnotise, crant un change curieux entre vous et lartiste. Souvenir de vagues magiques, ? vous planter l? immobile ? contempler un ocan aride, rouge et brun.

    Style dpouill, art brut :
    Steve saccompagne aux guitares acoustiques 6 et 12 cordes sonnantes daccordages exotiques que je vous laisse le soin de
    dcortiquer.

    Les deux fantmes (The Holy Ghosts) qui se partagent les tches entre violon, percussions, harmonica et bruitages divers glissent et roule
    parfaitement auprs de lauteur.

    Une implication totale et un riche vocabulaire musicale, nous prouve que Steve est loin dtre un dbutant, il a dj? construit une belle carrire, je vous invite chaudement ? en consulter lhistoire sur son trs beau site internet

    www.stevetallis.com

    Finalement, ce prcieux recueil de folk blues tribal, sera ma petite craquerie de la rentre, aprs tout, si vous souhaitez la
    partager

    Le Docteur Blues – Paris, France
    1st September 2004

  • FOLK ALLIANCE AUSTRALIA (DIETER BAJZEK)
    FOLK ALLIANCE AUSTRALIA - DIETER BAJZEK - June 1, 2004

    ” Steve must be one of the most interesting (and maybe different) members of the Folk Alliance (since 1997),who has played with many musicians and groups for about 40 years. Personally, I am pleased that Steve is a member and by doing so adds to the diversity of musical expression within the FAA.
    Although his style of contemporary blues / African inspired songs are not everybody’s cup of tea, he has as much to say about our society as most other more conventional songwriters – he just says it in a different way.
    Western Australian Steve has quite a prolific output of music to his credit, but he appears to be almost more popular overseas than in his own country. His latest album,Loko, continues that output with more new and gutsy songs, performed here by himself on vocals, six and twelve string guitars, as well as Gary Ridge on a vast array of intriguing percussion instruments (often from Africa, including berimbau,kanjira,surdos, drums, bells, shakers and more) and Dave Clarke on violin and mouth organ.
    Much of Steve’s work has featured mystical African believes, and so it is here also. But there are other, more obvious songs here too, like the accusing political song Coward Howard and the call to Stop The Racist Bus.”

    Dieter Bajzek @ Folk Alliance Australia – June 2004

  • GROOVE MAGZINE (WA) – SYLVESTER FOX
    GROOVE MAGZINE (WA) - SYLVESTER FOX - June 1, 2004

    ” Another seventy minutes from the irrepressible Steve Tallis. For some it’s all too much but I’m up for it. He doesn’t beat around the bush. Straight into “Animal”, which spits venom here and there over a Gloria chord progression, “small town gossips want to strangle me to death.” Says it all really. Nobody can play the blues like Steve or has the understanding of rock that he does, but because he chooses to put it in a “world” music context
    Perth audiences start fleeing. Pity. “Papa Loko” is pure Clarke magic, weaving his violin spells over an insistent Tallis Eastern riff. Gary Ridge marches The Ghosts along on “Healing By The First Intention”, whilst all twelve strings are beaten into submission for “My Hands Are On Fire.” This is a song that could be about the music industry, “you’re my sickness, you’re my cure, you’re my addiction.” There is just too much going on here to comment on every track but ” Sacred Love” should be mentioned as well as “Dynamite” with its “feel like a stick of Dynamite in your hands about to blow up in your face”.
    “Loko” explodes with passion and grace, it’s music for people who believe!”

    Sylvester Fox @ Groove Magazine (WA)- June / August 2004 Issue

  • TSUNAMI SUSHI BAR – CD LAUNCH REVIEW – VIDA SURADA
    TSUNAMI SUSHI BAR - CD LAUNCH REVIEW - VIDA SURADA - October 23, 2020

    Japanese Restaurant CD Launch

    By Vida Surada

    I walk into the back courtyard and see Steve standing at the far end, silhouetted by a bright spotlight.
    The crowd is nestled around tables drinking beer and dining on japanese cuisine.
    Above the audience, hundreds of tiny lights like stars weave through vines adding to the feeling of being somewhere special in the universe.

    Steves dark blue rhythms break the romantic sweet soy night air. Hypnotic, enchanting, welling up tears of revelation. The sounds are ancient, reminding me of well worn roads and travels yet he sings them out freshly like perfect oranges.

    There is spiritual energy and ghosts in the air, coaxing you into a state of meditation and divine wisdom.
    The tiny lights blur out as the chords echo through your heart and wind up an intimate and vibrant evening.

    How lucky are we?

  • NOVA MAGAZINE (PHIL BENNETT)
    NOVA MAGAZINE - PHIL BENNETT - June 1, 2004

    June 2004 Issue

    “Acoustic guitar, human voice, hands striking skins, violin bows scraping strings, songs that distinguish little between verse and chorus, words that speak of the spirit.
    Steve Tallis’ methodology has changed little in the past decade or so – grab a select handful of kindred musicians (in this case, Dave Clarke and Gary Ridge), book a studio, set up the feel and press record.
    A celebration of what it is to simply be a musician with something to get out, Loko is Tallis’ latest compelling studio offering with fourteen and a bit tracks of minimalist musings that are steeped in the traditions of the blues – man, voice, guitar, speak, sing.
    Clarke adds a beautiful sonic dimension to the album with his undulating snake charmer violin dancing hypnotically around songs like Healing By The First Intention, while Ridge’s percussion is varied, imaginative and unintrusive.
    Loko is blues, folk, traditional, uncompromising, adventurous, bitter without being resentful and is as familiar and comfortably uncomfortable as that settee which never quite matched the rest of the furniture.
    If you like earthy, unadorned music that comes from somewhere under the skin, this is as real as it gets.
    Dynamite.”

  • THE GROOVE (HELEN FARLEY)
    THE GROOVE - HELEN FARLEY - May 17, 2004

    The Groove – 17th May 2004
    A publication of the Blues Association of South East Queensland

    Steve Tallis and the Holy Ghosts
    Loko
    Zombi Music (MGM)
    www.stevetallis.com

    Redefining eclectic!

    It would be a brave soul who tried to define the music of Steve Tallis. Every conceivable musical tradition colours his palette and a lot more besides mythology, religion, philosophy, a primal belief in a myriad of shadowy forms. That Steve can take these divergent elements and create a cohesive work is testimony to his boundless creativity and unity of purpose.
    Loko is the latest stop on an epic musical journey that has seen Steve visit most genres from blues, rock and fusion to soul, jazz and what is loosely called world music. The album features fifteen songs, all from Steves pen. A quick glance at the list of instrumentation of the back cover and I realise I dont know what most of the instruments are!
    The album is rich in emotion and feel, moody sometimes malevolent and sometimes benign, always challenging and enriching. I loved the irascible rhythms of Healing by First Intention and the plaintive album-closer, Sacred Love, but every song is worthy of deep reflection. The performances are skilled and sensitive, with a gorgeous texture. Dave Clarkes violin really enhances the feel of the album.
    Loko comes in at almost an hour and a quarter and is a worthy addition to any collection. Be sure to check out Steves web site at www.stevetallis.com.

  • VARIOUS QUOTES / REVIEWS
    October 23, 2020

    “Loko is a great album, very special, not very easy , but great.
    And I like the story around it. Very unusual for us…
    Seeing you on stage made all the difference though.”

    Veronique Croisile @ EMDV Music (Paris, France)

    “Definitely a full-bodied work, and impressive.”

    Eric Dufaure @ Beluga Productions
    (Paris, France)

    “Really enjoyed listing to Loko.
    I think it’s your best work yet and the packaging is beautiful.”

    Holger Petersen @ Stony Plain
    Records (Canada)

    “Loko is a masterpiece! Steve is one of the most interesting musical phenomenae that I have ever encountered. ”

    Evert Wilbrink @ Corazong Records
    (Netherlands)

    “As always, your songs sneak up on me and take me away to some
    other unworldly place. The guitar sound you get in the studio wraps
    around the material like a well tailored shirt. And when you first sent the cover art, I thought “ok that’s nice”, but then seeing it on the package I was grabbed by its emotional impact”

    Paul Marotta @ Jilmar Music (USA)

    “I cannot describe what I feel at the moment, really. I do love the intensity and the mixture of guitar, violin and voice. The cover artwork is great and the press statements on the flyer seem to fit
    perfect the album. Loko is magic. The album definitely needs a warm atmosphere in the night with candles or the ocean witha huge campfire. Fire is important or dry heat in the desert. I spontaneously had to think of things like this.I have to listen to it tonight again and again. Intense, strong!”

    Sabine Friedrich @ Bizzy Bee
    (Germany)

  • GLITTERHOUSE (GERMANY) (INGOLF BOYSEN)
    GLITTERHOUSE (GERMANY) - INGOLF BOYSEN - October 23, 2020

    “No doubt, Steve Tallis is an unique artist in the – bright shining – Australian music scene. The way he explores and inhales stories and knowledge of the myths and medicines of tribes and ethnic groups, about Zombies and Zounds, healing cures and curses is offside the centers of any mainstream.
    So it seems obvious, that he realises his visions very individual and independent. This Australian Griot – or Shaman – packs his stories into Blues and Rock which have a disposition to tribal sounds and earthy beats.
    The songs on Loko dump deeper in the mud of myths than ever before. I had the opportunity to chat with him, he has a way to explain and describe the rhymes and rituals, the effect of the use of tinctures and herbs that makes you believe, so is Loko The album. Its Blues, grounded in old Earth, Tallis sings poignant and throaty, escorted by 6-and 12 string guitar playing, often plunged in spiritual rootswork. The best proof is the third track Papa Loko a very special soundtrack for a campfire voodoo-ritual, haunting and ecstatic. Accompanied by his two proved musicians, the Suicide (Holy) Ghosts which also recorded the 1999 ZoZo album with Steve.Gary Ridge shakes and stomps with his assortment of exotic percussions and Dave Clarke keeps up the Roots and Folk feeling in between the spooky lines with his violin and mouth organ. No gimmicks and technical tricks at all here, its the pure Blues of the old magic.
    As that is the design of the Digipack, brown as the sand and old pictures with secrets. The CD is stuffed with more than 70 minutes of music, it may be better to make a break amongst it, to remember the real world…or not.”

    Ingolf Boysen @ Glitterhouse Records (Germany)

  • WEST AUSTRALIAN (RAY PURVIS)
    WEST AUSTRALIAN - RAY PURVIS - May 6, 2004

    RAY PURVIS @ WEST AUSTRALIAN – Thursday 6th May 2004
    Steve Tallis and The Holy Ghosts
    Loko
    Zombi Music
    Review: Ray Purvis

    ****
    “Yet a further giant step down the sacred path to self-realisation for WA’s own shape-shifter. Tallis throws a wide musical net.
    You only need to take one glance at the dedications on the inside sleeve (Charlie Parker, Dusty Springfield, Bob Marley, Blind Lemon Jefferson) to know you’re in for a rich, rewarding experience. To this list of late musicians, you could safely add such notable influences as John Coltrane, Captain Beefheart, Bob Dylan and explorations into African, Haitian and Islamic music.
    Yet the Maylands-born-and-raised musician pulls it all together brilliantly in these intense songs about self-discovery (‘I’m an animal, whirlwind, hurricane / A holy ball of lightning smacking my brain”) and mystic spirituality.
    There’s even a strong tilt at political leaders and racism on Coward Howard and Stop The Racist Bus. For this album The Suicide Ghosts have been trimmed back to Gary Ridge’s native African percussion and Dave Clarke’s eerie violin scrapings, over which Tallis’ six and 12 – string acoustic strumming throbs and bends rhythms and time signatures.
    These are timeless songs that will grab hold and shake you like a terrier.”

  • RON KING (FOREDAY RIDERS)
    RON KING (FOREDAY RIDERS) - October 23, 2020

    Aloha Steve. Many thanks for sending me a copy of your new album “Loko”.
    You’ve done it again Steve. It’s another winner and reinforces your reputation as a “one-off” artist, in the most positive sense of the term.
    As with all your albums, it’s highly individual and obviously a lot of time and effort have gone into all aspects of the production, it sounds and looks great. I can’t think of anyone working along similar lines and your cohorts are doing excellent work in backing you up. I certainly hope it does well for you, and I won’t even try to guess what you’ll come up with next.”

  • LEE UNDERWOOD (EX TIM BUCKLEY GUITARIST)
    LEE UNDERWOOD (EX TIM BUCKLEY GUITARIST) - April 17, 2004

    17th April, 2004

    “I’m quite moved by Loko, Steve. Your musical sensibility is deep, your singing incredibly strong, your writing excellent, your guitar playing superb. I think you have it all to connect with an international audience. I can feel the passion and intensity directly and you have talent and integrity, all of which open up a wide spectrum of possibilities. I also think your packaging of Loko is first rate. Exotic cover picture, marvelous interior designs, great back cover with the song titles, credits, and the human figure. Thanks a thousand for including me in your mailing, Steve. Keep me posted on developments, won’t you. I think you have a bright new future beckoning to you. With highest regards.
    Of course, Tim Buckley would have loved your music!”

  • DRUM MEDIA (ANDREW WILLIAMS)
    DRUM MEDIA - ANDREW WILLIAMS - April 27, 2004

    27th April 2004 Issue

    “Check out your nearest music store for the latest offering from Western Australian-based blues / roots guitarist / vocalist Steve Tallis. The cd is titled Loko (Zombi Music) and is his first since his brilliant boxed set Anthology. The cd was recorded in November last year and features 15 tracks / over 71 minutes of Tallis magic. Loko is nothing short of another spiritual blues-based cd that takes the listener to another dimension with chants, sounds and music from Tallis and his backing band The Holy Ghosts, featuring Gary Ridge on a vast array of instruments from drums, congas, handclaps, triangle, agogo, bells and more, plus Dave Clarke on harmonica, violin, sojo and handclaps. Once again Tallis stands alone as a spiritual bluesman and Loko itself (although blues-based) stands alone too as something else. Loko is a piece in itself and each track shouldn’t be singled out and although at times this here blues writer found it a little bit repetitive, it’s no doubt part of the whole Loko process, willing you to turn it on, dim the lights, sit back and get yourself ready to be taken to another dimension in blues. Maybe not the cd of choice for all blues enthusiasts, but if you are a Tallis fan or a blues fan with an open mind, then Loko is for you. Check it out!”

  • AUSTRALIAN MUSICIAN (GREG PHILLIPS)
    AUSTRALIAN MUSICIAN - GREG PHILLIPS - March 1, 2004

    Issue 37 Autumn 2004

    West Australian indie music legend Steve Tallis eternally impresses
    with every new release on his own Zombi Music label. Not unlike John Butler, Tallis pushes the boundaries of what we come to expect from someone labelled most of his musical life as a blues artist. On “Loko” his latest disc, Steve Tallis and The Holy Ghosts deliver a sensual mix of acoustic flavoured, heartfelt tunes featuring Steve’s considerable talent on 6 and 12 string guitars. Percussionist Gary Ridge adds another dimension to Tallis’ euphony with the use of a huge array of instruments including agogo, berimbau, caxixi, kanjira and pandeiro. Dave Clarke’s violin, sojo and mouth organ add further fuel to Tallis already eclectic bonfire.

  • TSUNAMI MAGAZINE (RENEE COLEMAN)
    TSUNAMI MAGAZINE - RENEE COLEMAN - March 1, 2004

    STEVE TALLIS AND THE HOLY GHOSTS
    Loko
    Zombi Music

    Loko features traditional African instruments (congas, berimbau) blended with violins, harmonica and acoustic guitar wrapped around themes of sacred texts, karma and racism. The locally produced Loko, from West Australian bluesman Steve Tallis could easily have been an over-extension.
    However, the obvious sincerity of his intentions, solid songs and the Tom Waits styled gravel in his voice allows him to pull it off with aplomb.
    The production on the acoustic guitar provides a worldly and solid base for the intensity of Steves vocal performance.
    Loko is an inspiring and genuinely authentic effort. 4/5

    RENEE COLEMAN @ TSUNAMI MAGAZINE (QLD)
    (March Issue)

  • INPRESS MAGAZINE (CATHERINE HOGAN)
    INPRESS MAGAZINE - CATHERINE HOGAN - March 10, 2004

    10th March 2004 Issue

    “According to his website, when Steve Tallis was six years old he walked up to his mother and announced his plans to become a musician. His mother wasn’t very pleased, thinking that a “real ” career would suit her son better. But, as it turns out, music has become a “real ” career.
    Since the 60’s his discography has been slowly growing and is now quite an ear full. Tallis has also rubbed shoulders with some big names, supporting acts such as Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Ben Harper, Tea Party, Brad, Mick Jagger and Ani Di Franco – to name a few.
    Zozo (1999)earned Tallis much acclaim and was voted number one blues album in the Rhythms magazine Readers Poll the year of its release.
    Teamed up with The Holy Ghosts, his latest offering, Loko, is out now.

    Starting out with The Blessing, a 13 second intro (an African insert) that introduces the album perfectly – diverse both musically and culturally. Then comes Animal, a sticky track that highlights Tallis’ mud -spattered vocals. Healing By The First Intention whisks in with dank sounds and
    experimental scuffs. Coward Howard (personal favourite – great title) is a mix of patriotism and anger. Kama stands out as probably the happiest track, and is rhythmically easy to hear. Stop The Racist Bus (another great title) starts out with shakers and a dirty root ridden sound.
    Tallis may not be a straight forward blues musician, but the roots are still there. And it’s those roots that will entice blues fans, but his international experimental and folksy sounds that will trap others.
    Each song has its own tainted beauty – rough but with sparkles shining amongst the grit. Problem is – despite how good each song might seem , the next one then sounds the same, and the same with the next. There are minor and, of course, technical differences between the songs, but the vibe remains the same. Which leaves the listener bored and skip-button ready. Nevertheless if you’re after a challenging bluescape, Tallis will find a place in your heart.”

    CATHERINE HOGAN @ INPRESS MAGAZINE (VIC) – Wed 10th March 2004 Issue

  • XPRESS MAGAZINE (MIKE WAFER)
    XPRESS MAGAZINE - MIKE WAFER - October 23, 2020

    ” Not that it’s a guilty pleasure by any means, but it’s pretty hard not to like Steve Tallis. Omnipresent Steve, as he should from this day forward be known, is on top of his own publicity and public perception so much so that it almost overshadows the mammoth career he has so diligently and relentlessly carved for himself over the years. His skill is undeniable; his gravely voice the perfect vessel for his often dark and spiritual lyrics, his pounding strumming style the only way an acoustic guitar can sound that harsh, and his lyrics…………… did I mention his lyrics? Boy oh boy, the man can sure write some poetry.

    Loko is testament to Tallis’ worldly nature, and heavily influenced by the cultural interpretations and embraces of music that Tallis himself has travelled the world to absorb in person. With the exception of the very corny and poorly titled Coward Howard (come on people if you want to get anarchic then at least avoid excerebrose and safe clich) there is not a weak track among the 15 Tallis has committed to tape, making this his most accessible work to date. More to that end, Tallis is ageing gracefully and steering his ship clear of any “get in touch with the kids” delusions that seal the fate of many of his contemporaries.

    Tallis’ angle, and it is indicative of his links with African and Asian cultures, is that age bears with it wisdom that sets an example to be followed, and on even a strictly musical level, that is exactly what he has done here.”

  • AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW (SHANE NICHOLS)
    AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW - SHANE NICHOLS - October 23, 2020

    *******

    “The West Australian bluesman has a long track record which shows in the quality of this locally produced album.
    Tallis likes to think of himself I’m sure not too seriously as a kind of griot, the folk singers in certain regions of Africa who occupy a special place in their society.
    They mock, recite family stories and tribal lore, and are both lowly and respected at the same time.

    Tallis’s affinity with the deepest of blues traditions is necessarily more of the spirit than literal, but it does indicate an impulse towards gutsy, exotic quasi-African music than goes beyond the usual blues musician into something more mystical. His voice has the lean nasal quality of Bon Scott and a healthy dose of John Hiatt it’s gritty and with a driven intensity that goes well with the voodoo nature of his music, which is replete with shakers, congas, berimbau and many more African native instruments. This is inspired, colourful and quite intense music, with nary a mundane moment; Tallis simply doesn’t know how to write a boring time signature.
    He’s a journeyman of sorts, but it’s not your average blues trip, for sure.”

  • SATURDAY BLUES (RADIO ADELAIDE) (BIG MIKE HOTZ)
    SATURDAY BLUES (RADIO ADELAIDE) - BIG MIKE HOTZ - October 23, 2020

    Steve Tallis wrote these songs for me – and anyone else prepared to really immerse themselves in them.
    Loko is a watershed album, with what are possibly the finest lyrics yet penned by an Australian musician. Profoundly personal, I was able to discover large portions of myself in the music of this West Australian modern day Truth-Seeker. I cannot remember when last someone was able to reflect my innermost emotions so accurately or poignantly.
    What forces – both dark and light – must revolve within Steve Tallis when he reaches for his song-writing materials to plan another disturbing but joyously liberating musical odyssey?

    Steve Tallis has been called by many names over the years: Griot, Blues Shaman and Mad Angel amongst them. The array of compliments and superlatives applied to this man and his music seem never-ending. I myself have added to the crucible when I wrote glowingly of his 2000 CD, Zozo, but now its time to add titles like: Philosopher, Thinker, Exorcist, Truth-Seeker & Prophet to the litany.

    The songs on Loko are not such simple things for me to analyse and boldly commit my deliberations to paper. To do so would necessitate the revealing of some of my own lifes truths and horrors, pointless to others, but, who will surely find answers on this astonishingly enlightening CD for themselves, just as I have done. This seminal collection has to be lived, experienced by the listener.
    Steve Tallis manages to strike to the soul throughout the 15 journeys on Loko, and its very difficult to explain ones most basic, most intrinsic, but yet most complex emotions in just a few short lines.
    Therefore, what I get from a tune will not be the same as someone else, so individual, so personal, are they. Believe me when I say that no-one with a personal and social conscience will fail to be taken to where Steve Tallis wants to take them. In such an honest, thought provoking fashion as he shares with us tales of his various journeys and the secrets hes had revealed. Tallis has answers and he explains this in tunes like Prayer Wheel, where he announces that,
    I dont have to go to the crossroads, never sell my soul to the devil again
    To some this statement may hint at arrogance or a defiant attitude but is no more than a simple truth, an uncommon, priceless honesty. A fact evident in every word, every song.
    I was rapt as each flowed from the hi-fi for over 70 minutes of divinely inspired songs from Steve Tallis and The Holy Ghost.

    The man himself plays exquisite acoustic guitars, both 6 and 12 string, butsurely the voice of Steve Tallis can only be described as a contemporary manifestation of fundamental mans most basic primeval instincts. A powerful incarnation of raw beauty embodied with all the wisdom and timelessness of the ages. Unique and idiosyncratic, this voice is used with tempestuous power and subtle delicacy throughout the CD. It is by far the primary instrument employed, but the assortment of percussion instruments played by Gary Ridge, combined with the dextrous string work of Dave Clarke – who also provides haunting harmonica subtlety – accumulate to create a devastatingly flawless set of songs laden with power, passion, and beauty. Listen – experience – hear – and rejoice – for the man from the west has given us a precious gift, Loko.

    I began by calling Loko a watershed album. Another term for watershed is dividing line. On the lines under-side we see thousands of Australian albums from our finest musicians. Above the line is where we find nothing but the very best albums, those rare few albums capable of making us delve into ourselves. Above my line I have things from John Butler, Archie Roach, Black Smith Hopkins, Peter Gelling and Steve Tallis. Actually there a lot from Tallis – Monkey Skulls & Thunderstones, Zombi Party, Zozo, The Steve Tallis Box Set (containing material not found on his solo albums), and now – Loko.

    Available from www.stevetallis.com

    Big Mike Hotz (Presenter of Saturday Blues)
    Radio Adelaide 101.5 FM

  • THE AGE (MICHAEL DWYER)
    THE AGE - MICHAEL DWYER - March 5, 2004

    “On face value, a Perth suburban troubadour assuming the weighty musical vocabulary of darkest Delta blues might sound like a hard-sell. Steve Talliss gradual absorption of arcane folk, voodoo and native American tools and iconography has been no less audacious but, over 30-some years, amazingly compelling by sheer force of conviction and experience. Loko is a record that dares identify with a primal search for transcendence, invoking unspecified sacred texts, healing powers and prayer wheels with eerie, throbbing acoustic arrangements hanging from the rustic scaffold of Gary Ridges unpronounceable percussion. Theres no denying the honourable intentions of Coward Howard and Stop the Racist Bus, but theres greater righteous gravity on My Conscience is Clear, Sacred Love and especially Out of Control, a Bo Diddley stomp that surrenders to the mystic with Dave Clarkes violin swirling like narcotic smoke. I spit on fame, fashion, celebrity, Tallis intones, Id rather keep my dignity/ When the spirit starts movin deep in me. You just know hes not talking about the same one Guy Sebastian is in touch with.”

    Michael Dwyer @ The Age – Melbourne (5th March 2004)