Susan Tedeschi (b. November 9, 1970)
Susan Tedeschi born 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, guitar playing, 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.
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 six-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 Lightnin’ 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.
Most recent touring band
- Susan Tedeschi- vocals
- Matthew Slocum – Keyboards and Hammond B-3 Organ
- Dave Yoke – Guitar
- Ted Pecchio – Bass Guitar
- Tyler Greenwell – Drums
- Ron Holloway – Tenor Saxophone
In 2001, she married Allman Brothers Band slide guitarist Derek Trucks, who is bandleader and lead guitarist of The Derek Trucks Band. Tedeschi and Trucks 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 December 2001, 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, which was also the jazz legend’s first wife’s name. 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 travel with them, including Trucks’ younger brother, drummer Duane Trucks. In 2008, two other horn players have been added, so that with regular sideman, tenor saxophonist, Ron Holloway, there has been a three piece horn section, playing with Soul Stew when on tour.
Tedeschi Trucks Band
In 2010, both Susan Tedeschi and her husband Derek Trucks announced a hiatus for their respective 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.
- 2000 Grammy nomination for Best New Artist
- 2003 Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance
- 2006 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album for Hope and Desire
- 2010 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album for Back to the River
- Better Days (Oarfin, 1995)
- Just Won’t Burn (Tone Cool, 1998)
- Wait for Me (Tone Cool, 2002)
- Live from Austin, TX (New West, 2004)
- Hope and Desire (Verve, 2005)
- Back to the River (Verve, 2008)
Collaborations and Guest Appearances
- “It Hurt So Bad”, Track 14, On the Mountain 4 (1998), compilation by Seattle radio station KMTT
- “You Need to be With Me”, Track 12, On the Mountain 5 (1999), compilation by Seattle radio station KMTT
- “It Hurt So Bad” (Tom Hambridge), Track 3, Live From The Archives 7 (2000), compilation by Seattle radio station KMTT
- “It Hurt So Bad”, Track 3, Farm Aid Vol. 1 LIVE – Disc 2 (2000), compilation by Redline Ent
- “Kansas City” (Leiber/Stoller) with Willie Nelson, Track 9, and “Opposites Attract” with Tom Hambridge, Track 14, New Names, New Music (2000), compilation by San Francisco radio station KFOG
- “Angel From Montgomery” (John Prine), Track 9, Live From The Archives 8 (2001), compilation by San Francisco radio station KFOG
- “Tired Of My Tears”, Track 5, Broadcasts Vol. 14 (2006), compilation by Austin radio station KGSR
- “People”, Track 1, Live From The Archives 16 (2009), compilation by San Francisco radio station KFOG
- Joyful Noise (2002), Derek Trucks Band
- Already Free (2009), Derek Trucks Band
- Truth (2006), Robben Ford
- Bug – original motion picture soundtrack (Various Artists, Lionsgate Records 2007) – track #5 “I Fell in Love”
- Skin Deep (2008), Buddy Guy
- Tedeschi performed the Clapton song “Anyday” with The Derek Trucks Band while opening for Eric Clapton‘s touring band at the Crossroads Guitar Festival on July 28, 2007, in Chicago, Illinois,
- “Space Captain”, Track 4, The Imagine Project (2010), Herbie Hancock (with Derek Trucks)