In just over a half-decade, delayed a bit by the global pandemic, The Teskey Brothers have gone, quite smoothly, from talented acolytes to established practitioners of neo-retro Soul, R&B, and Blues. It’s the latter of those three genres that the Australian band, led by siblings Josh and Sam Teskey, embraces tightest on this third studio album. Noticeably more patient and developed, The Winding Way displays still the weathered-beyond-his-years vocal from Josh and perfectly placed guitar accents from Sam that attracted so many back in 2017, and gathered even more admirers (and awards) in 2019 with a sophomore LP, Run Home Slow.

Since then, they have done some personnel shifting- with the exits of Liam Gough and Brendon Love, on drums and bass, respectively- not to mention a lockdown in their homeland that stifled any live performances and touring momentum they’d built across the globe. Maybe that explains the darker, more mature focus, immediately apparent on the album starter, “I’m Leaving,” and ballad, “London Bridge,” that are both representative of the set’s more introspective and somber tone. It’s not so much a downer as it is a clear-eyed Monday morning after a rough weekend.

There is an intimacy on the softly acoustic “Carry Me Home” that lines up Josh’s gorgeous vocal, front and center, followed closely by “This Will Be Our Year” that then tucks him neatly into a fold of horn lines and time-keeping tambourine; a splash of ‘60s R&B groove. Next up is the album’s dramatic center- “Blind Without You,”- that climbs with shifting rhythms to a hushed and melancholic resolve.

The closing “What Will Be” offers an extended piece, and some optimism, not unlike the lengthy “Honeymoon” from the Brothers’ acclaimed debut, Half Mile Harvest.  At nearly eight minutes, the final track opens with a gospel-flecked serenade, buttressed in brass, and doubles down with a cut-time gallop toward the horizon, flashing dirty guitar and wailing harmonica. It’s as vibrant and alive as the otherwise sedate set gets as The Teskey Brothers blaze their trail through the Blues; back in business, and ready to pick up where they left off- as modern-day messengers of soul and salvation.