Susan Tedeschi - Midnight In Harlem - Classic Blues Videos
with Derek Trucks at The Crossroads Guitar Festival
Blues guitar legend Susan Tedeschi performs "Midnight In Harlem" with Derek Trucks and their band at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Bridgeview, Illinois in 2010.
Susan Tedeschi (pronounced /təˈdɛski/; b. November 9, 1970 in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American blues and soul artist, who has received multiple Grammy Award nominations, and is well-known for her singing voice, stage presence, and marriage to blues guitarist Derek Trucks. She is also known for her performances as part of "Soul Stew Revival", a conglomeration of her band, The Derek Trucks Band, and assorted other personnel.
Tedeschi served as a judge for the 7th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.
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 granddaughter of Nick Tedeschi and great-granddaughter of Angelo Tedeschi, both supermarket magnates who were well known in Massachusetts. Tedeschi has always been musically inclined, and made her debut public performance as a 6 year old understudy in a Broadway musical. Also, she sang for family members and listened to her father's record collection of old vinyl recordings, like Mississippi John Hurt and Lightning Hopkins. Raised as a Catholic, she found little inspiration in the church choir, and so attended predominantly African-American Baptist churches, feeling the music was "less repressed and more like a celebration of God." She has played in bands since the age of 13. At the age of 18, she formed her first all-original group, the Smokin' Section, in the nearby town of Scituate, Massachusetts.
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.
Tedeschi formed the Susan Tedeschi Band in 1994, featuring Tom Hambridge and Adrienne Hayes. In 1995 she began playing guitar and 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 and Just Won't Burn, featuring young guitarist Sean Costello, was released in February 1998 to very positive reviews, particularly from blues critics and publications.
In 1999, Tedeschi played several dates in the all-woman traveling festival, the 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. In the same year, Tedeschi turned a few heads when she was listed by Peter Gammons of ESPN in his list of "all time top 20 favorite albums." She came in at a respectable #15 for her album, Just Won't Burn. Not to be outdone, husband Derek Trucks also made the list, at #9 for Joyful Noise, both surprising accomplishments, given that both artists play blues, a genre often overlooked. In addition, the other musicians on the list were some of rock's elite, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Little Feat, and Jackson Browne, to name a few.
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 on her. Her guitar playing is influenced by Buddy Guy, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Freddie King and Doyle Bramhall II.
Wikipedia contributors. "Susan Tedeschi." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 26 Feb. 2011. Web. 13 Mar. 2011.