Smoky Blue Soul

The Teskey brothers come from Australia. But to listen to their remarkably well-made Half Mile Harvest, you would think that they were recording in a smoky little room full of bourbon fumes.

By Clara Bismuth | Video of the Day | November 10, 2018

Far from the land of the kangaroo, this is a triumph for the Stax spirit in all its humility. Josh and Sam Teskey, accompanied by Liam Gough (drums) and Brendon Love (bass), seem to have been brought up on soul and blues from birth. They take delight in evoking the great masters of the genre such as BB King, Otis Redding and James Brown. The heat steadily rises and the spellbinding electric riffs of Say You'll Do bring an irresistible sensuality to the whole production. The mixture of blues and southern soul is potent. The music takes a firm hold of the listeners body; and how could you not tap your feet to Pain And Misery? But surprise! Half Mile Harvest doesn’t take on the tones of Soul Time à la Sharon Jones, it instead turns in the direction of bayou blues and subtle swamp rock. The steel effects, big bass notes and harmonica on Shiny Moon and Reason Why lean more towards J.J. Cale and Tony Joe White. The Teskey Brothers aren't inventing anything, that's clear enough: but they're doing a fine job of keeping alive a tradition of black music, which is still very popular today.


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