November 13, 2008

Susan Tedeschi: Back to the River

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Susan Tedeschi can do the blues. And not just for a white chick. She can actually do the blues. In her newest album, Back to the River, the forceful opening track, “Talking About,” immediately pulls you into the music and not until the end does Susan give you a chance to turn her off. From the melodic “700 Houses” to the jazzy and soulful “Learning the Hard Way,” Tedeschi succeeds all the way through. She mixes and experiments with different beats, a testament to the different people with whom she co-wrote several of the tracks (including husband Derek Trucks), and never fails to give stellar vocals. She makes potentially cliché lyrics such as “I’ve got the blues gone round in my bed / I’ve got the blues gone rough in my head,” from the track “Can’t Sleep at Night,” sound original and exciting. We can only hope Tedeschi is true to her word when she sings, “…you know that I’ll be back / I’m coming back to stay.”