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Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Susan Tedeschi is part of the new generation of blues musicians looking for ways to keep the form exciting, vital, and evolving. Tedeschi's live shows are by no means straight-ahead urban blues. Instead, she freely mixes classic R&B, blues, and her own gospel and blues-flavored originals into her sets. She's a young, sassy blues belter with musical sensibilities that belie her years.
Tedeschi began singing when she was four and already active in local choir and theater in Norwell, a southern suburb of Boston. At 13, she began singing with local bands and continued her music studies at Berklee, honing her guitar skills and also joining the Reverence Gospel Ensemble. She started the first incarnation of her blues band upon graduating in 1991, with vocalist/guitarist Adrienne Hayes, a fellow blues enthusiast whom she met at the House of Blues in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin, and Boston-area singer Toni Lynn Washington were Tedeschi's most important influences; in starting her band, in fact, she used Washington's backing band and hustled up gigs on nights when Washington and her band were not already booked. Since they began performing around Boston's fertile blues scene, Tedeschi and her band developed into a tightly knit, road-ready group, and have played several major blues festivals. Guitarist Sean Costello has since replaced original guitarist and co-vocalist Hayes, who left the group to pursue her own musical interests.
The Susan Tedeschi Band's first album, Just Won't Burn, was released on the Boston-based Tone-Cool Records in early 1998. The band for her debut on Tone-Cool includes guitarist Costello, bassist Jim Lamond, and drummer Tom Hambridge; guitarist Hayes also contributes. Just Won't Burn is a powerful collection of originals, plus a sparkling cover of John Prine's "Angel from Montgomery." Tedeschi and band also do justice to a tune Ruth Brown popularized, "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean," and Junior Wells' "Little by Little." The appropriately titled Wait for Me appeared in 2002 and was followed two years later by the CD and DVD Live from Austin TX. 2005's Hope and Desire found Tedeschi on the Verve Forecast label; it was followed up by the stellar Back to the River. In a desire to spend more time with her husband Derek Trucks (who led his own group and was a guitarist with the Allman Brothers Band) and their children, the pair formed the soul-blues group the Tedeschi-Trucks Band, an 11-piece ensemble that also included brothers Oteil and Kofi Burbridge on bass and keyboards, respectively, and drummers Tyler Greenwell and J.J. Johnson. The unit signed to Sony's Masterworks imprint and released their debut album, Revelator in June of of 2011.
Susan Tedeschi (/əˈɛ/; born November 9, 1970) is an American blues and soul musician known for her singing voice, guitar playing, and stage presence. A multiple Grammy Award nominee, she is a member of the Tedeschi Trucks Band (originally known as "Soul Stew Revival"), which is a conglomeration of her band, her husband Derek Trucks's The Derek Trucks Band, and other musicians.
Tedeschi served as a judge for the 7th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers."Acclaimed singer Susan Tedeschi comes back home – for a song". PatriotLedger.com. 2009 GateHouse Media, Inc. Some Rights Reserved: The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, Massachusetts. July 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-02. "Past Judges for the Independent Music Awards Include:-". Independentmusicawards.com. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
Susan Tedeschi was born on November 9, 1970, in Boston, Massachusetts, to a family of Italian ancestry (Tedeschi means Germans in Italian) and was raised in Norwell, Massachusetts. She is the daughter of Dick Tedeschi, granddaughter of Nick Tedeschi and great-granddaughter of Angelo Tedeschi, founder of Tedeschi Food Shops, a New England-based supermarket and convenience store chain. Tedeschi made her public debut as a six-year-old understudy in a Broadway musical. As a youth she sang for family members and listened to her father's record collection of old vinyl recordings such as Mississippi John Hurt and Lightning Hopkins. Raised as a Catholic, she found little inspiration in the church choir and attended predominantly African-American Baptist churches, feeling the music was "less repressed and more like a celebration of God." In bands since the age of 13, she formed her first all-original group at 18, The Smokin' Section, in the nearby town of Scituate.
After graduating Norwell High School, Tedeschi attended the Berklee College of Music, where she sang in a Gospel choir. She performed show tunes on the Spirit of Boston and received her Bachelor of Music degree in musical composition and performance at age 20. During that time, she began sitting in on blues jams at local venues and immersed herself in the Boston music scene."Our History". Tedeschi Food Stops. Retrieved October 14, 2013.  Cite error: The named reference Tedeschi_comes_home was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
ContentsCareer1.1 Early career1.2 Opening acts1.3 Influences1.4 Personal life1.5 Soul Stew Revival1.6 Tedeschi Trucks Band
Tedeschi formed the Susan Tedeschi Band in 1993 featuring Tom Hambridge and Adrienne Hayes. She learned how to play blues guitar in Boston from musician Tim Gearan in 1995. It was then she really began to hone her skills on the instrument. In December the band released Better Days to regional audiences. Record contracts were difficult to keep together; however, recording sessions from 1997 were acquired by Richard Rosenblatt and the band was signed to indy label Tone-Cool Records. Just Won't Burn, featuring young guitarist Sean Costello, was released in February 1998 to very positive reviews, particularly from blues critics and publications. Susan was the first artist to play the initial Sunset Sessions in March 1998 at the Marriott in the US Virgin Islands.
In 1999, Tedeschi played several dates in the all-woman traveling festival Lilith Fair organized by Sarah McLachlan. Throughout 1998 and 1999 she toured extensively throughout the United States and drew larger crowds.
Eventually Tedeschi was opening for John Mellencamp, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, The Allman Brothers Band, Taj Mahal and Bob Dylan. In 2000, Just Won't Burn reached Gold record status for sales of 500,000 in the United States, rare for a blues production. She recorded two tracks with Double Trouble band members Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon for their album.
She opened for The Rolling Stones in 2003 and played in huge venues, gaining national exposure. Somewhat surprisingly, the gig wasn't financially lucrative. According to Tedeschi, "They pay, but it's not great. I don't make any money 'cause I've got to pay all my sidemen. I'll be lucky if I break even."
In 2004, Tedeschi was featured on the PBS show Austin City Limits, flanked by William Green, on Hammond organ, Jason Crosby, playing keyboards, violin, and vocals, bassist Ron Perry, and Jeff Sipe, on drums. The performance was extremely well received.
Susan Tedeschi's voice has been described as a blend of Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin, which she maintains is not surprising given that both have been her influences. Her guitar playing is influenced by Buddy Guy, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Freddie King and Doyle Bramhall II. On the album "Just Won't Burn," she lists a multitude of inspirations from various genres. This list includes Irma Thomas, Etta James, Bob Marley, Toots Hibbert, Aretha Franklin, Otis Rush, Ronnie Earl, Otis Clay, Ray Charles, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Dennis Montgomery III, Orville Wright, Walter Beasley, Kenya Hathaway, and Mahalia Jackson.
In December 2001, Tedeschi married Allman Brothers Band slide guitarist Derek Trucks, bandleader and lead guitarist of The Derek Trucks Band. The pair met in New Orleans when she was the opening act on the Allman Brothers Band's 1999 Summer Tour. They have two children: Charles Khalil Trucks, born in March 2002, is named for saxophonist Charlie Parker, guitarist Charlie Christian, and author Khalil Gibran. Sophia Naima Trucks, born in 2004, takes her unusual middle name from the John Coltrane ballad, composed in honor of his first wife. They reside in Jacksonville, Florida.
Soul Stew Revival
Tedeschi, with her powerful vocals and Trucks on guitar complement one another, and have toured together frequently under the name "Soul Stew Revival". This includes the members of The Derek Trucks Band, the members of Susan Tedeschi's band, and other musicians who travelled with them, including Trucks' younger brother, drummer Duane Trucks. In 2008, they added a three-piece horn section.
Tedeschi Trucks Band
In 2010, both Susan Tedeschi and her husband Derek Trucks announced a hiatus for their solo bands, and formed a new group called Tedeschi Trucks Band. The group performed at a number of festivals including Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival, Fuji Rock Festival and others. Unlike their previous collaborative project – Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi's Soul Stew Revival – the Tedeschi Trucks Band focuses on writing and performing original material, and is the focus of both Trucks and Tedeschi for the foreseeable future.Cite error: The named reference Tedeschi_comes_home was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Sunset Sessions. "Locations & Alumni". Retrieved July 2013. Cite error: The named reference Lilith1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Nick Marino. "Jacksonville Grammy-nominee Susan Tedeschi is . . . - Jacksonville.com". Jacksonville.com. Retrieved January 7, 2015. ""Austin City Limits" Susan Tedeschi/Ruthie Foster (TV Episode 2003)". IMDb. Retrieved January 7, 2015. Friss, Gwenn (June 27, 2009). "Tedeschi earns Sweet Forgiveness". Cape Cod Times. Cape Cod Media Group. Retrieved September 9, 2010.  Bryson, Alan. "Susan Tedeschi: Dreams and Legends". All About Jazz. Retrieved June 7, 2010.