Susan Tedeschi: 5 Acts of Legend

Susan Tedeschi goes under the microscope in this month's edition of '5 Acts of Legend.'
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> As front-woman for the Tedeschi-Trucks Band, Susan Tedeschi mines the singular vein of potent blues she became famous for as a solo artist in the late ‘90s. Freely mixing the blues with R&B and gospel influences, she has integrated the genre’s diverse strains into a fluid and powerful amalgam of fiery guitar work and impassioned vocals.

> Born and raised in the Boston suburb of Norwell, Tedeschi was influenced by the Mississippi John Hurt and Lightnin’ Hopkins records in her dad’s vinyl collection and the gospel music of the black Baptist churches she attended. She wrote her first songs at 13 before studying at the Berklee College of Music and launching her own band in ’91.

> After years of fine-tuning the Susan Tedeschi Band, she burst onto the scene in ‘98 with her major-label debut, Just Won’t Burn. The album earned rave reviews and blazed a trail for a new breed of young female blues artists.

> The success of Just Won’t Burn earned her spots on Lilith Fair and opening slots for the likes of B.B. King and the Allman Brothers Band — where she met the group’s slide guitarist, Derek Trucks. The two married in ’01 and soon began touring as the Soul Stew Revival.

> In ’10, the couple formed the Tedeschi-Trucks Band, where Tedeschi puts her passionate, Janis Joplin–like vocal style and beefy Telecaster tones in the service of the group’s original compositions.