Just Won’t Burn
Susan Tedeschi is somebody you’re definitely gonna be hearing a whole lot about. In the short amount of time since she graduated from Boston’s Berklee School of Music, she has recorded two albums, snagged a regional opening slot with the Allman Brothers Band, and in what I see as her biggest coup, has managed to pick up none other than Double Trouble as her rhythm section – the former backup band for Stevie Ray Vaughn. Quite a feat for a 29-year-old who was literally unknown just a couple of years ago.
Just Won’t Burn is Tedeschi’s second release. I haven’t heard her first one, but as a rule, any sophomore effort as strong as this one is a pretty good indicator that this is a musician with real staying power.
Tedeschi has been getting rave reviews of her concerts in Canada and the Boston area, and has been compared to Janis Joplin. I was a bit reluctant to mention this comparison since it’s been thrown about so many times in reference to artists who were truly undeserving, but, after a few listens, I have to say that it’s really not that much of a stretch. Like Joplin, Tedeschi’s brand of music is true to the blues, but with a hard-rockin’ and more powerful edge than you’d normally found in this genre.
Some have compared Tedeschi to Stevie Ray Vaughn. While she’s certainly not the virtuoso that he was, she does evidence one of the more important attributes that he had. She has the potential to rally the support of the blues crowd as well as the rock and rollers. Her renderings are credible and her delivery is in the right measure. Nothing over-the-top here. Just good old rockin blues that leaves you feeling satisfied.
I would be inclined to describe Tedeschi as the heir apparent to Bonnie Raitt as the Queen of the White-Woman Blues. She’s not really that much like Raitt, but she certainly challenges the title with what might very well be the definitive treatment of John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery.” Tedeschi also puts her own unique stamp on Junior Wells’ “Little By Little” and the old ’50s blues-standard “Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean.” Six of the eleven songs on this disc were penned either by Tedeschi or her producer, Tom Hambridge, or were collaborations of the two. She’s not written any new classics, but they are all strong efforts and worthy of a place in any blues or rock collection.
Tone-Cool Records, 129 Parker St., Newton, MA 02159; http://www.tonecool.com