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Susan Tedeschi


Susan Tedeschi

October 28, 2005 @ The Orpheum

As she quietly took the stage with her sweet and twangy greetings, local girl gone great Susan Tedeschi gave little hint of where she came from or of where she was planning to go for at least a great part of her show. The evening was an extended roller coaster ride that swooped smoothly and soulfully from gentle, oft guitar-less ballads to raspy, at times raunchy rockers that got Tedeschi’s hometown fans up and dancing time and again. Among the most fan-friendly moments of Tedeschi’s nearly two-hour set were renditions of such hits as a ripping revamp of “Mama , He Treats Your Daughter Mean,” a cry-along “It Hurts So Bad,” and a leave-it-all-onstage “Alone,” which contrasted well with the far mellower (but no less beautiful) “Tired of My Tears” and other, newer songs, including a yet-to-be-recorded original called “True” that hinted at the inspirational presence of Anita Baker. As for her latest recording, “Hope and Desire” (Verve Forecast), Tedeschi drew liberally from this collection of soul-ful tributes like an acrobatically-keyed cover of Bob Dylan’s “Lord Protect My Child” and a smokey buildup to George Jackson’s “Evidence” (which also contained hints of Bill Withers’ “Use Me”). Further covers included a simple and straight shot off Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice” and a touching take on Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s in Need of Love.” After a brief break, Tedeschi returned for another up and down tempo round that include the always approp-Raitt “Angel from Montgomery” and a rock-out “I Found a Love” that sent the locals home smiling and dancing one more time.

- Matthew S. Robinson
© 2005 M. S. Robinson, ARR



WBOS presents Susan Tedeschi

December 11, 1999 @ Avalon

As part of their 1999 Holiday Concert Series, WBOS brought hometown hero Susan Tedeschi and her “Rock Me Right” band back to Boston for a starlit, pick-tossing, drumstick throwing, bell-jingling party, the proceeds of which went to “The Boston Globe’s” Globe Santa.
Opening with the cleverly aforementioned rager, Tedeschi burned through some early mike troubles as drummer/songwriter/producer Tom Hambridge pounded out the rhythms from on high. Mixing taught solo licks with roadhouse riffs and bayoued bell tones and a voice that ranged from ear-rippin’ rasp to smoky hush, Tedeschi mixed it up with the beefy, burly bass of Brad Hallen and the Sunday meeting keys of Tom West. A funk-pedaled hip-hop through Koko Taylor’s “Voodoo Woman” featured West on honky-tonk synth piano and after a t-shirt plug by way of intro to the Martha’s Vineyard island breeze of “You Need To Be With Me,” Susan and the boys slowed things down for Felix Reyes’s “Wait For Me.” Some trickly struttin’ a la “Mary Had a Li’l Lamb” and a long looping ballad by Tommy Shannon got the Double Trouble vibe going and the spooky sustain during Tedeschi’s axe switch melded moods of the Doors and Cream. A sustaining “Angel from Montgomery” was heart-feltedly dedicated to those who were lost in the recent fire in Worcester (making the lines about “this house would have burnt down a long time ago” eeriely appropriate and ironic). Continuing the fire theme, Tedeschi plugged her label and then kicked into a smoldering version of her title track “Just Won’t Burn” which broke up coaxing blues with a rip it up, crowd-spankin’ solo. As Tedeschi channeled Joplin for an extended bellow-along of Hambridge’s “It Hurts So Bad,” Tom beamed down from his riser like a proud poppa. Unfortunately, these lyrics were telling to, as the crowd’s burning desire for an encore went unfulfilled.

- Matthew S. Robinson
© 1999 M. S. Robinson, ARR



Susan Tedeschi with The Porch Rockers

February 28, 1998 @ Harpers Ferry, Allston, MA

As the opener to the closing show of Harpers' annual Blues Festival, first-time visitors The Porch Rockers mixed bouncy hollow-body riffs and blues-y Strat lines with Blues harp, mumbly lyrics, plodding bass and off-time drums (provided by a percussionist who looked more than a bit like Al from "Home Improvement"). Paying tribute to Blues and Rock forefathers like Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry, the Rockers also offered a number of growly Texas-styled originals, finishing-off with a halting "I Ain't Got You" and a peppy rendition of "Who Do You Love?".
Celebrating her new CD, "Just Won't Burn," surprisingly local girl Susan Tedeschi took the stage to the near-chaotic hooting and hollering of a packed house of devoted fans. Sounding almost too authentic to be from the Bay State, Tedeschi balanced well with her predominately-Atlantan band, whose mix of slappy percussion, rumbly bass, pedal steel, Blues harp and keyboards worked well both in Producer Tom Hambridge's compositions as well as a number of down-n-dirty Blues stomps (led by a snarly golden Les Paul) and solid but staid covers of such classics as "Angel From Montgomery." Vocally, Tedeschi mixed passionate belting which made the nearby picture of Janis smile even more broadly with a controlled restraint which set herself off beautifully. Despite problems with her stickered Strat, Tedeschi kept the show going, letting her backers and capable voice take over while she fiddled with her equipment. Tedeschi's stamina is impressive not only in terms of vocal strength, but also in terms of performance energy and touring schedule! Leaving the next day for Atlanta, and then for a whirlwind promotional run, Susan often talked of her love for her hometown and her gracious desire to return there soon. Few if any disagreed!

- Matthew S. Robinson
© 1998 M. S. Robinson, ARR


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