Susan Tedeschi was born November 9, 1970 in Boston and raised in Norwell, MA. She is a blues musician known for her singing, guitar playing and marrying Derek Trucks from The Allman Brothers Band. She is also the great-granddaughter of the founder of the Tedeschi Food Shops and Supermarkets based in New England. Susan made her public debut as a six year old understudy in a Broadway musical and as a youth she would sing for her family members and listen to her dad’s record collection of old blues artists. These discs included performers like Lightning Hopkins and Mississippi John Hurt. In bands since the age of thirteen, Tedeschi formed her first all-original group at eighteen, The Smokin’ Section, in the nearby town of Scituate. After graduating from Norwell High School she attended Berklee School of Music where she sang in a gospel choir. Susan also performed show tunes on The Spirit of Boston and got her Bachelor of Music degree in musical composition and performance when she turned twenty.
During this time she began sitting in on the blues jams at local venues and immersed herself in the Boston music scene. The Susan Tedeschi Band was formed in 1993 featuring Grammy Award winner Tom ‘T.H.’ Hambridge. In December, the band released Better Days and in 1997 she signed with Tone Cool Records, ‘Rosy’ Rosenblatt’s label, and in 1998 released Just Won’t Burn. 1999 had Tedeschi playing in the all-female travelling festival Lilith Fair, organized by Sarah McLachlan and during that time she also toured extensively in the U.S with her own band. Her band kept drawing larger and larger crowds as they got better known. Eventually, the group was opening for John Mellencamp, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, The Allman Brothers, Taj Mahal and Bob Dylan. In 2000, Just Won’t Burn reached Gold Record status for sales of 500,000 which is very rare for a blues record. She opened for The Rolling Stones in 2003 and played in huge arenas gaining national exposure.
In December 2001, Tedeschi married Allman Brothers Band guitarist Derek Trucks. They met in New Orleans when she was opening for the Allmans during their 1999 summer tour. They have two children: Charles Khalil Trucks — named after Charlie Parker, Charlie Christian and author Khalil Gibran — and Sophia Naima Trucks. Her unusual middle name comes from a ballad composed by John Coltrane for his first wife.
In 2010 Susan and Derek split from their own bands and formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band. This band focuses on writing and performing original material and is the focus of both Tedeschi and Trucks for the foreseeable future. 2012 saw the new band winning a Grammy Award in the Best Blues Album category for Revelator. Her vocal influences are a blend of Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin and her guitar playing is partial to Buddy Guy, Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Freddie King and Doyle Bramhall II. True Fact: Susan and Derek appear on one of Johnny Winter’s last albums and Johnny once told me “I love her singing and Derek really fucking plays!”
(by A.J. Wachtel)
Published on June 13, 2016