There is something incredibly special about Warrandyte’s The Teskey Brothers. It’s not just the music they make, or their preternatural ability to conjure the spirit of soul and blues masters, or even lead singer Josh Teskey’s era-defying voice that seems to belong more in the Mississippi Delta than rural Victoria. It’s the fact that
they’ve been hiding in plain sight, honing their craft for a decade, playing countless shows at the local pub, weddings and even a swimming pool, before
making serious waves with their debut album ‘Half Mile Harvest’.
Forming over a decade ago when brothers Sam (guitar) and Josh Teskey teamed up with childhood friends, and long-time jamming buddies, Brendon Love (Bass) and Liam Gough (Drums), ‘Half Mile Harvest’ is the perfect summation of everything the band has learnt about playing, song writing and production over the last decade. Completely self-produced at their own studio in Warrandyte, recorded live to tape and mixed down on an analogue board, The Teskey Brothers were trying to capture the humanity of their recordings, warts and all, making the listener feel as though they are sitting in the room while the band plays around them. And for The Teskey Brothers it is all about feeling. “If you don’t play it with soul, it’s not soul music, it’s just two chords and a beat,” says Sam.
The results of their effort and attention to detail are stunning. Across its 10 tracks The Teskey Brothers take influence from Otis Redding, JJ Cale and Marvin Gaye, mixing in elements of old Blues and British Invasion rock n roll, even some psychedelia, to create a record that feels completely timeless, transcending eras to deliver something that could have been made now or 50 years ago. It’s no mere pastiche though either. It’s a sound that knows its influences, but The Teskey Brothers have spent enough time playing together to find their own sound and put their distinctive mark on something classic.
They quickly sold out of the 500 records they had pressed, thinking it would take years to offload them all, and soon found themselves on stage at Meredith Festival, playing strings of sold out hows around Australia, touring the US and UK and fulfilling a dream playing at Fuji Rock Festival in Japan.
Having just inked deals with Ivy League records in Australia, Glassnote in the US and Decca/Vertigo in the UK/EU, the Teskey Brothers are prepping for the next phase of their career, starting with the re-issue of ‘Half Mile Harvest’, which features two new tracks, ‘I Get Up’ and ‘Say You’ll Do’.
‘I Get Up’ has been called a new direction for the Teskey Brothers, perhaps touching on something more contemporary for the 60s/70s era loving band, but that’s something the guys are unconvinced of. So, while they might not be appearing at the Warrandyte Festival this year, and you won’t catch them playing down at St Andrews Pub in town, The Teskey Brothers aren’t about to go changing anytime soon. And you’ve got to be thankful for that.