by Ross CAT

by Ross CAT

Concert Preview: SUSAN TEDESCHI
Center for the Arts

Tuesday October 14th

That is the title of Roots Rocker SUSAN TEDESCHI’S new album due out in stores on October 28th.
     The captivating four-time Grammy nominated vocalist/songwriter/guitarist fifth studio album has cultivated a tapestry of world music blends enriched only by the lyrics that lace them together.

a BERKLEE grad is the mother of two and wife of guitar prodigy DEREK TRUCKS (ALLMAN BROTHERS Band, DTB), has assembled an astounding array of artists from all genres of the musical spectrum to harvest a colorful collection of salient songs.
     Artists like TONY JO WHITE, ALLEN TOUISSANT, SONYA KITCHELL and songwriter/producers John Leventhal and Gary Lourdis of the JAYHAWKS supply the backbone while
TEDESCHI”S copious vocals soar across the gamut on this 4 star effort.
     Ross CAT-
Hello Susan thanks so much for your valuable time we’re looking forward to your visit to the
University of Buffalo (; where by the way your husband will be performing on November 2nd with the DEREK TRUCKS BAND.
- Excellent; No problem at all it’s my pleasure.

     Ross CAT-
First off congratulations on this amazing collection of new songs on
Back to the River”.  Your vocals are spine tingling, I have a feeling this record may take you from nominee to the winners podium at the Grammy’s next February.
     SUSAN-That’s so kind of you to say, it means even more because this is my most personal body of work, we are really proud of what we’ve accomplished on this record.
     Ross CAT-
You come out swinging on the very first track Talking About which features talented guitarist DOYLE BRAMHALL II (ARC ANGELS, also toured with legends the likes of ERIC CLAPTON and ROGER WATERS).  You hate to make comparisons but this song echoes of JANIS JOPLIN.
-Nice, that’s cool to hear.  We tried to make this more of a Rock Record, we really wanted to give it a
Ross CAT- “Back to the River”,  it references working your way back home to your family which includes guitar virtuoso DEREK TRUCKS and your two children.
     I had the pleasure of speaking with
DEREK on a few occasions and he voiced the same feelings of longing for home to be with you and the kids.  That soulful alliance you share is certainly refreshing to find in your line of work.
     I want to pose the same question to you that I did to
DEREK; does it make it easier having your spouse in the industry in the sense of understanding the rigors of the road and the demand on each others time?
     SUSAN-That’s so sweet of you to say.  It most definitely helps having DEREK understand the demands of recording and touring.  We end up being away from each other like four weeks at a time which is almost like being in a military family situation.
      Often we’re off traveling in different countries at different times and you can’t always be together, that can really be difficult on a relationship as well as a family.  We’re both understanding enough and know what we’re doing and why we’re out doing what we do.  It most definitely helps being able to be a support system for each other.
     I will say that if one of us doesn’t agree with what the other is doing we don’t hesitate to speak up to give an opinion or an alternative.
     It’s really hard for
DEREK to stay home these days he gets so many great offers to do so many amazing things musically, I’m always making him go when he gets the chance.  I tell him I’ll stay home and you go, I’m cool with that I’m working on songs and raising the kids it’s really all good!!!

     Ross CAT-
You’ve enlisted an elite group of songwriters and musicians to contribute to this socially relevant and spirited collection of songs, tell us about working with TONY JO WHITE on the title track?
Thank you, it was a wonderful experience getting to meet him and to write with him.  We met in his studio in
Nashville he’s very sweet, we hung out for the day getting to know each other.  I got to check out his really cool collection of guitars, amps and pedals and we just started to jam.
     We hit it off right away, he asked me about
DEREK, the kids and my home, which is on the St. John’s River in Jacksonville, Florida.  He wanted to get a visual of what my life was like and that lead us “Back to the River”.  He started  with an awesome riff it was almost like a ZEPPELIN version with his funky touch added, so we built the song around that.
     It was an enlightening experience he’s such a spunky and soulful person, I had so much fun.

     Ross CAT-
Another great artist you worked with on the record is legendary jazz musician ALLEN TOUISSANT on
Break in the Road”, tell us about that collaboration.
-Yeah he’s such a wonderful songwriter.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to write with him on that particular song but I would love to sometime soon.  That song is an old treasure, it’s the only cover on the record and it was one that ALLEN had shared with BETTY HARRIS.
     I thought that if I was going to do a Rockin’ record I wanted to do something with a
New Orleans funk as a kind of tribute to all the musicians who’ve carried on with the healing of music despite all the tragedy over the past five years.
     Ross CAT- “
700 Houses
really caught my attention it’s a socially riveting song affirming resilience with an inspirational chorus asking, What can be done, Another storm to overcome; while DEREK slides through with his soulful strings.
- Thank you, I had been thinking about all the hurricanes especially now with my family living in
Jacksonville.  Every time it misses us I’m so thankful, at the same time I’m hoping and praying for those who are affected by it.
     Ross CAT-
As this country approaches one of our most important elections in decades you join forces with a talented young songwriter SONYA KITCHELL for the song
People; which cries out for everyone to make an educated decision and let their voices be heard.
Exactly, I’m not trying to be super political on this record what I’m trying to say is that we are human beings with a moral responsibility to look out for each other; so lets educate ourselves and get out and do what we can to make this world a better place for our children.
     Ross CAT-
How did you manage to recruit DEREK TRUCKS whose in such high demand, touring with artists like ERIC CLAPTON, BUDDY GUY and the ALLMAN BROTHERS not to mention his own band, to contribute on the album?  Did you make him play for his supper?
     SUSAN-(Laughter) I know I’m so lucky in so many respects he really is an amazing partner.  I told him honey I wrote this part for you so you need to play on it.  He said “O.K. what do you want me to do on it”. I just told him to listen to the demo you’ll hear it and you’ll know what to do.
     Ross CAT- I see DEREK also produced the funky track Butterfly where he gets his guitar groove on with some chunky chords.
We built a studio at our home and he had just finished recording his next DEREK TRUCKS BAND album, so we where kind of both in and out at the same time.  I was in the studio playing “Butterfly” with my band and DEREK came over and said “honey let me play with you guys, he said this song is really awesome but it’s missing something how bout this”.  So he steps in and gives me this beautiful CURTIS MAYFIELD type bridge, I was like OH MY GOD I LOVE it.
     Ross CAT-
The sky seems to be the limit when you and DEREK collaborate together; can fans look forward to more of the SOUL STEW REVIVAL tours in between your busy schedules?
Yeah for sure, our main goal is to try and do it when the children are out of school for at least a month every summer.  We take the kids out  with us and go cross country with a thirteen piece band and two tour buses, it’s a crazy ordeal just like everybody’s family picnic or reunion, ours just happens to be on wheels and lasts for a month.
     The music is so unique from what
DEREK and I do on our own; it’s almost like a hybrid of our musical taste and influences.  We have so many great artists and songs to pick from that each night offers up a different set.  We also break out some original material written specifically for SOUL STEW that we play it’s really fun; it’s a musical playground for us.

     Ross CAT-
You and
DEREK make a guest appearance on the latest BUDDY GUY record “SKIN DEEP” jamming with the legend on  “Too Many Tears” tell us how that collaboration came about?
DEREK and I have both known BUDDY for a long time; his producer TOM HAMBRIDGE also produced “Just Won’t Burn” for me and played drums.  BUDDY wanted us to play on the record so Tom came down to the house with the track and we did it right in our own backyard studio.

Rock Rapport would like to THANK! SUSAN TEDESCHI for taking time out of her frantic schedule.  We would also like to thank Carrie Tolles from Shore Fire Media for setting us up.
     Be sure to visit for a copy of this amazing new album and upcoming fall tour dates.
     Ladies first, look for the
Rock Rapport interview with DEREK TRUCKS in the October 27th issue to preview his visit with the DEREK TRUCKS BAND at the U.B. Center for the Arts on Sunday November 2nd.

****************PEACE & Harmonies********************

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