Susan Tedeschi

Susan Tedeschi

Biography

Susan Tedeschi's knack for combining her passion for American roots music—especially electric blues, Southern soul and black gospel—with an awe-inspiring vocal prowess has resulted in a successful career, a series of award-winning recordings, and a devoted following. Blessed with an ability to dig deep and deliver powerful, R&B belters or wrap her voice around a gentle ballad, she is a talented guitarist as well, steeped in the electric blues tradition.

 

Today Tedeschi's focus is on her new band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, which she co-leads with husband and guitarist Derek Trucks. After years of success with their own bands, Tedeschi and Trucks finally felt the time was right to set aside solo projects and create something new together. Fronted by Tedeschi's soulful, impassioned voice, the 11-member powerhouse has achieved in just two years what most bands spend a career trying to accomplish.

 

The band debuted big with their inaugural album Revelator in 2011, a collection of blues-dipped rockers and heart stirring ballads that earned the band a Grammy® for Best Blues Album. It also helped them dominate the Blues Music Awards - where they won Album of the Year, Band of the Year, and where Tedeschi herself took home a trophy for Contemporary Blues Female Artist. Critically acclaimed as a 4 Star "masterpiece" by Rolling Stone magazine and simply "Outstanding" by USA Today, Revelator broke into the Billboard Top 200 chart at #12, bringing both Tedeschi and Trucks to their highest first week sales and charting of their careers.

 

While touring the U.S. and Europe on the heels of Revelator's release, Tedeschi found time to join her husband for a string of special appearances. In a span of just 10 weeks she and Trucks were invited to perform at the White House, joining Mick Jagger, B.B. King, and Buddy Guy to celebrate the blues -- at the Apollo Theater, joining Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and a host of blues guitar heavyweights in an all-star tribute to bluesman Hubert Sumlin -- and at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, joining Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder and others to celebrate the first annual International Jazz Day.

 

Praised by fans and reviewers across the globe for their outstanding live performances, Tedeschi Trucks Band's sophomore release Everybody's Talkin' documents the band's growth and energy on stage. The double live album includes a spirited blend of originals and vibrant covers and was eagerly anticipated, debuting in the top 25 of Billboard's top albums chart.

 

Tedeschi's passion for performing and writing music dates back to her youth. Growing up in the Boston suburb of Norwell, Massachusetts, her first inspirations were the old blues albums in her father’s record collection. Her musical inclinations were apparent by age 6, when she made her debut public performance as an understudy in a Broadway musical. She began singing with local bands at the age of 13, took up the guitar and by 18 had formed her first group focusing on original music.

 

Though raised Catholic, Tedeschi was drawn more to the emotive singing and upbeat rhythms typical of African-American gospel churches. She joined a gospel choir while studying at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music. Graduating at the age of 20 with a bachelor in music composition, she continued to sing gospel while immersing herself in Boston’s fertile blues scene and had soon established herself as one of New England's top-drawing live acts.

 

In 1994, she formed the Susan Tedeschi Band and, inspired by electric blues legends like Otis Rush, Buddy Guy and Magic Sam, began to focus more on her guitar playing. Her growing reputation as both a powerful and gritty singer, and talented guitarist led to her debut album Better Days a year later. In 1998, she recorded the critically acclaimed, national breakthrough Just Won't Burn, impressively garnering Gold sales status and earning Tedeschi a Grammy® nomination for Best New Artist (along with such unlikely company as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Macy Gray and Kid Rock.) In 2002, her follow-up release Wait for Me was produced by the legendary Tom Dowd and was nominated for a Grammy®.

 

 

Tedeschi was on her way. Through the 2000s she opened for such headlining acts as John Mellencamp, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones; as well as personal heroes like B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Taj Mahal. She also collaborated on recordings with Santana, Herbie Hancock and Los Lobos, among others. After releasing Live from Austin, TX in 2004, she signed her first major label deal with Verve/Forecast, recording Hope and Desire in 2005, and Back to the River in 2008. Both revealed Tedeschi ably handling an expanded canvas of rich R&B flavors and soul material, and both earned her Grammy® nominations.