The Band: The Teskey Brothers
The Venue: Music On The Hill, Red Hill, Australia
The Date: August 4 2017
A Review of Australia’s Shimmering Soul and R’n’B outfit The Teskey Brothers Live.
By Rob Dickens
It’s a good story.
Brothers Josh and Sam Teskey have been playing music together since they were twelve.
Poring over their parents’ record collection, their long-time shared passion of great soul and rhythm ‘n’ blues music, tinged with funk and blues, provides for a warming spectacle. It’s a reminder of the torch being passed on. Chicago, New Orleans and Memphis – the great music lives on.
The Teskey Brothers, as a band with that moniker, has been at it for over a decade. As well as Josh (lead vocals and harmonica) and Sam (lead guitar), we have Brendan Love on bass and Liam Gough on percussion. You can tell the four have been playing together, grinding out a tight groove, for a while. There’s the proficiency that comes with banging together for ages, but the pleasure has not diminished of crafting and interpreting what they love. At one point, Josh put the band the paces, “GIVE ME….(insert multiple musical commands)”. The players responded in kind, smiles beaming around the room despite the concentration required for the gymnastics they had been put through.
It took a while before some recorded material became available. In 2016 the band emerged from their home studio with a self-produced debut album Half Mile Harvest, with a release both independent and low-key. The tide has turned since then. The band’s renown has grown substantially and recently they sold out multiple nights at one of Melbourne’s iconic venues, The Corner Hotel with its capacity of 750-plus punters.
Tonight at the intimate Red Hill Cricket Club, the punters were treated to what might be one of the last small venues the rising star band finds itself in (curator and organiser Robin Griffiths cannily booked them a long time back).
Songs featured from Half Mile Harvest – the doleful ‘Crying Shame’, the funky ‘Shiny Moon’ and the wonderful ‘Pain and Misery’ (“when you should stop doing something…but..you..just..CAAAN’T!”) Another track ‘Louisa’ featured an extended harmonica sequence, driving rhythm and vocal strutting, while ‘Honeymoon’ dripped and smouldered. Plenty of new songs also made themselves known – ‘I Get Up’, ‘You Do’ and the soft, pleading ‘Ride With Me’. Tampa Red’s ‘Love With A Feeling’ and CW Stoneking’s ‘Talkin’ Lion Blues’ rounded out the night with perfect equilibrium.
Enjoy the passion, the optimism, the dedication and the vibe of a band that has a lot to give. The Teskey Brothers provide a satisfying and fresh jubilation.