The Teskey Brothers – The Winding Way Tour – with Trousdale-Brooklyn Paramount – Brooklyn , NY

The Teskey Brothers – The Winding Way Tour – with Trousdale
Brooklyn Paramount – Brooklyn , NY – June 19, 2024
Review & Photos – Rebecca Wolf

Almost 100 years ago, in November 1928, Brooklyn Paramount opened its doors as a movie theater. Not just a simple place to watch a film but what was considered ‘America’s first movie theater built for sound.’ Over the next two and a half decades this spectacular theater became a showcase for storied rock-n-roll musicians, including Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Fats Domino. However, in 1954 the music came to an end after the building was purchased by Long Island University and converted for use as a gymnasium. Ten years ago, the decision was made to renovate the still spectacular theater and return it to its former glory, as a venue for live performances. The renovation process was halted along the way, before being taken over a few years ago by Live Nation, who was looking for a venue of this capacity (2,700) to add to their NYC repertoire. Now, 60 years since the last act left the Brooklyn Paramount stage, this magnificent venue, with its preserved Rococo ceiling, original hand-crafted plaster statues and Baroque detailing, and refurbished with spectacular lighting, a grand stage and modern state-of-the-art sound, is set to be a multi-genre performance venue. On March 27, 2024, the Brooklyn Paramount, reopened its doors, beneath its vintage-style, lighted marquee, to the next generation of enthusiastic fans, the first performance on the road towards Brooklyn Paramount reclaiming its legendary status.

It’s hard not to look around wide-eyed when entering the grand foyer of Brooklyn Paramount….it’s just that grand. It’s even more difficult for your jaw not to drop upon making your way into the theater and initially seeing the towering backlit ceiling with highlighted lattice effects, the sculptural details along the ceiling and walls, and the monumental columns. Lest you think you’re the only one feeling this awed, you just have to look around at the others entering the theater and you’ll notice everyone gazing upwards, turning in circles and trying to take in everything around them. It’s almost sensory overload but in the most spectacular way. I believe this feeling of awe will arise each time one attends a performance at Brooklyn Paramount, as the magnificence of the surroundings can’t possibly become commonplace.

On June 19th, I entered Brooklyn Paramount for my inauguration to the venue, though not my inaugural experience with The Teskey Brothers. That first experience was last September at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, in Colorado, when the band opened for the progressive bluegrass band Greensky Bluegrass. Having never heard of The Teskey Brothers, I assumed their music would also be bluegrass, maybe country, maybe a bit of Southern Rock, but I was in for a surprise, a great surprise. I was immediately drawn in by their unexpected soulful, blues rock sound, with the phenomenally raspy, layered, emotive vocals of Josh Teskey, combined with Sam Teskey’s intense, dynamic guitar licks. I was so intrigued that evening I was determined to delve more into the band and to attend one of their shows the next time they traveled through my area. As luck would have it, The Teskey Brothers made their way to NYC to perform in the spectacular new Brooklyn Paramount on June 19th.

Opening for The Teskey Brothers was Trousdale, a dynamic female band hailing from Los Angeles, formed by Quinn D’Andrea, Georgia Greene, and Lauren Jones. Trousdale is touring their debut LP Out of My Mind, showcasing beautiful melodic harmonies and heartfelt lyrics, dedicated to female empowerment, written by this trio of skilled songwriters. Onstage at the Brooklyn Paramount these women (supported by a touring bass player and drummer) filled the expansive stage with their powerful energy, joyful spirit and angelic vocals. While they are relatively new to touring, having started on the road in 2022, they easily engaged the crowd, reeling them in with their upbeat, pop-folk sound. The band’s 45-minute set opened with “Point Your Finger,” from the debut LP, followed by “This Is It,” “Love,” “Always, Joni” and “Any Day Now,” from 2021’s EP What Happiness Is, as well as “Wouldn’t Come Back,” from 2021’s EP Look Around. “Out of My Mind,” title song from the debut LP, brought the engaging, charismatic set to a close with rapturous cheers from the crowd. From the joyful expressions on the faces of D’Andrea, Greene and Jones as they looked out at the audience and the splendor of the Brooklyn Paramount I wonder if they each momentarily felt themselves to be “out of my mind.”

While the theater was already crowded during the opening act, as time drew closer to the arrival of The Teskey Brothers the density of the general admission crowd grew exponentially. My experience at Red Rocks had taught me that although The Teskey Brothers were an opening act, they already had a dedicated fanbase. While my subsequent exploration of the band’s music and their history broadened my knowledge of The Teskey Brothers and heightened my intrigue, the level of their popularity escaped me until I was enveloped in the large impassioned crowd, ranging in age and ethnicity, for their performance at Brooklyn Paramount. Excitement buzzed throughout the theater as fans awaited the arrival of The Teskey Brothers. From the moment the band entered the brilliantly colored, illuminated stage and Josh Teskey’s broad smile beamed out at the crowd, both musicians and fans alike were locked in for the dynamic, passionate, soulful performance of blues rock music.

The band’s opening number “Pain and Misery,” from their 2017 debut album, Half Mile Harvest, was the perfect song to showcase Josh’s unbelievably gritty, full-bodied, emotive vocals, a voice that sounds like it comes from the depths of his soul, and a life long-lived. If one was not looking at this young, handsome Australian man, with dirty-blonde hair pulled into a man-bun, one would easily believe these vocals belonged to a classic, old-school blues artist. While Josh’s vocals are the centerpiece of the band, Sam’s intensity, spirit and skills on lead guitar, combined with the layers of melodic sound from the keyboards, drums, bass, saxophone and trumpet, that amplify the depth and emotionality of the music.

The hour and 45-minute set included “Crying Shame” and “I Get Up,” from the debut album and from 2019’s Run Home Slow, the upbeat, 60’s jive of “Man of the Universe,” the jazzy rhythm of “So Caught Up,” the sultry, majestic “Paint My Heart” and the deep, aching “Rain,” a favorite number which fans responded to with enthusiastic cheers. As the band is touring their most recent release, 2023’s The Winding Way, the set showcased several songs from the album. “We’re going to go ahead and do one of our new ones here, another song from this Winding Way record of ours,” Josh shared through the hoots of the crowd. “To tell you a little bit about this song, it’s about something that happened gone 4 years back now, when my life changed completely. It was the year I became a dad,” he proudly said to audience cheers. “I was really inspired by that…becoming a parent. What I thought of a lot was my own parents and their dreaming and I had a new appreciation for them. So, I always like to send this song to all the parents out there, no matter what your dream is. It’s a song about remembering the little things and we call it “Take My Heart,” he said as the band began to play the beautifully touching, sentimental tune. Additional songs from the album included, “Oceans of Emotions,” “Carry Me Home,” “Blind Without You” and “What Will Be.”

Throughout the performance the crowd remained fully invested in the music, intently gazing at the stage, swaying to the beat and singing along to favorite numbers. The audience’s positivity was consistently met with gratitude from Josh, who on several occasions put his hand to his heart, a broad smile on his face, in appreciation of the love being radiated back to him and the band. After a twelve-song set, the band exited the stage to thunderous applause, returning for a three-song encore. What better way to honor their musical origins, than to perform the classic “Try a Little Tenderness,” by Otis Redding, who’s regarded as one of American’s greatest singer-songwriters and a highly influential soul and blues musician. The encore additionally included the band’s 2018 single “Forever You and Me,” a deep, stirring number, before ending the evening with Run Home Slow’s gospel-infused, energy-inducing “Hold Me.” As band members congregated at the edge of the stage, clapping, snapping and singing acapella to the song’s refrain, audience members eagerly reciprocated the emotional energy, as they clapped along and responsively sang, “Hold me, don’t hold me down. Carry me, but keep my feet on the ground.”

June 19th at Brooklyn Paramount was an amazing night of music, in a spectacular venue. I look forward to being awed again at the magnificence of Brooklyn Paramount and to the winding way bringing The Teskey Brothers and their incredibly textured, emotive, blues rock sound back to the US.