Susan Tedeschi (pronounced te-DES-ki) (, 1970 in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American blues and soul artist, who has risen to fame with multiple Grammy Award nominations, her powerful singing voice, fearless stage presence, and her marriage to Derek Trucks of the Allman Brothers Band. She is also known for the "Soul Stew Revival", a conglomeration of both her band, that of The Derek Trucks Band, and assorted other personnel.
Susan Tedeschi was born on November 9, 1970 in Boston, Massachusetts but was raised in Norwell, Massachusetts. Tedeschi had always been musically inclined, and made her debut public performance as a 5 year old understudy in a Broadway musical, which she enjoyed, as well as singing for family members, and listening to her father's record collection of old vinyl recordings of Mississippi John Hurt, and Lightning Hopkins. Raised as a Catholic, she found little inspiration in their chorus, and so attended predominantly African-American Baptist churches, feeling the music was "less repressed and more like a celebration of God." She's played in bands since the age of 13 and formed her first all-original group at age 18 in the nearby town of Scituate, Massachusetts, called the Smokin' Section. Tedeschi attended the Berklee College of Music where she sang in a Gospel choir; performing show tunes on the Spirit of Boston and received her B.A. degree in musical composition and performance. During that time, she began sitting in with local blues jams at venues there, and immersed herself in the Boston music scene. She additionally has many country artist influences.
Tedeschi formed the Susan Tedeschi Band in 1994, featuring Tom Hambridge and Adrienne Hayes. In 1995 she began playing guitar and honed her skills and 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 from blues publications.
1999 found Tedeschi playing 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 her stage presence and powerful voice 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 . 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.
Current band members
Susan Tedeschi- vocals
Ron Holloway ??? Tenor Saxophone
Matt Slocum - Keyboards and Hammond B-3 Organ
Dave Yoke - Guitar
Ted Pecchio ??? Bass Guitar
Tyler Greenwell - Drums
Susan Tedeschi's voice has been described as a blend of Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin, though she explains this is due to sharing the same influences as the two. Her guitar playing is influenced by Buddy Guy, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Freddie King and Doyle Bramhall II.
Susan Tedeschi with Derek Trucks
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 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, which was also the jazz legend's first wife's name. They reside in Jacksonville, Florida.
Soul Stew Revival
Sample of "Anyday", performed by The Derek Trucks Band featuring Susan Tedeschi, live at the Crossroads Festival.
Soul Stew Revival at Mizner Park with Derek Trucks December 28, 2007
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, Duane Trucks. As of 2008, two other horn players have been added, so that with regular band member Ron Holloway, who plays the tenor saxophone, there has been a three piece horn section, playing with Soul Stew when on tour.
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