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Author: Subject: Nice Susan article

Zen Peach





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  posted on 11/13/2008 at 09:24 AM
Susan Tedeschi finds a way around genre limitations

By Regis Behe
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, November 13, 2008

There are more than a few reasons Susan Tedeschi is upbeat about her new album, "Back to the River."

But foremost among them is she is no longer being treated as a commodity that, with savvy marketing, might turn into a star or have a hit single.

"I'm a songwriter and I'm a guitar player, but on the last record all I did was sing," says Tedeschi, who performs Saturday at the Byham Theater, Downtown.

Limiting Tedeschi to vocals is like turning the Statue of Liberty into the Venus de Milo. Yes, she has an expressive, multifaceted voice that she honed singing gospel music while growing up in Massachusetts. But Tedeschi longed to write songs and play guitar, as she had throughout her career. "Back to the River" and the tour supporting the album find her in a comfortable -- and varied -- place.

"I don't sing one style of music, and I don't play one style of music," Tedeschi says. "I play jazz, I play gospel, I play funk, I play soul music, I play blues. This is the first record which really reflects what you're going to get live."

Tedeschi usually is consigned to the blues section of record stores, the residue of her first release, "Just Won't Burn." That album earned a Grammy nomination for best new artist in 2000, her fellow nominees including Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Macy Gray and Kid Rock.

But the blues label limited her, especially when it came time to record new material.

"Being labeled a blues artist, they think you should be doing only one kind of music," she says of past associations with record companies. "But then they want to make it poppy at the same time. Everybody has their own opinions, and every producer and every label is different because they have things they're trying to go for.

"It has been a little frustrating," Tedeschi says. "But if I'm going to get stuck in a category, this is a category I love."

"Back to the River" features Tedeschi collaborating with a number of songwriters and musicians. Sonya Kitchell co-wrote "People," a bluesy, pop anthem that encourages engagement in the political process. The title track, co-authored by Tony Joe White, is a swamp-rock vamp about missing home. "Butterfly," with its Allman-Brothers-meets-Isaac-Hayes vibe, was co-written by Tedeschi's husband, guitarist Derek Trucks.

For that song, Tedeschi was trying to write a song that had a Jimi Hendrix feel. When her husband came in and added clavinet, it gave the music a more soulful tone.

Of course, she's a bit biased about Trucks' skills.

"In the next few years, people are going to realize he's not just a guitar player," Tedeschi says. "He's a wonderful songwriter, a wonderful producer. He's got a lot of skills. ... He can communicate his ideas and get people to play them."

Tedeschi's other collaborators also gave the album its diversity, while affirming her own skills. The songwriting collaborations with White, Kitchell, John Leventhal, Doyle Bramhall II and Gary Louris not only added a new dimension to her music but "helped me develop my guitar playing, and my vocal skills as well," she says. "It helped me hear things in a different way, things that I didn't hear before. ... And also, with (my) confidence. If they're working with me, it must means I'm doing something right."

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/13/2008 at 09:42 AM
Very

Interested to hear how she'll sound live with all of this

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/13/2008 at 01:25 PM

 

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  posted on 11/13/2008 at 01:53 PM
Great article! Thanks Eric!

 

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  posted on 11/13/2008 at 02:34 PM
I think HTN needs to give Susan her own page here

 

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  posted on 11/13/2008 at 03:48 PM
quote:
I think HTN needs to give Susan her own page here


I already asked Lana about that...

 

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  posted on 11/13/2008 at 05:02 PM
Check out my thread on this subject.

 

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  posted on 11/13/2008 at 06:38 PM
Cool article

 

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Day after day they pour forth speech
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There is no speech or language
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/13/2008 at 06:42 PM
3 new Susan articles floating around today!! I love it!!!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/13/2008 at 07:55 PM
Here's a couple Berklee reviews!

http://www.allmanbrothersband.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=XForum&file=v iewthread&tid=83971

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 11/13/2008 at 08:08 PM
This was added on youtube recently from the Telluride Blues & Brews Fest!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpAMcGzoxkA

 

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