Two artists who represent the new generation of blues and blues-related music are on the same bill at the Vogue this Monday: Susan Tedeschi and James Hunter.
Tedeschi’s new album, Back to the River (Verve), is, for now, the most thorough example of Tedeschi as a singer, guitar player and songwriter.
Especially the songwriting. Tedeschi wrote or co-wrote 10 of the 11 songs on the album (the lone cover was written by Allen Toussaint).
“I’ve written 40, 50 songs since Desire. I think I’ve written about 10 good songs a year. Some were more bluesy, more environmental. I wanted to make an album like Bonnie Raitt’s Give It Up. I want to write what I saw. This album has more earthy blues, more rock, more aggressive stuff like ‘People’ or ‘True,’” Tedeschi said.
Tedeschi collaborated with her husband Derek Trucks, who plays guitar on four songs.
“I especially got a lot from [songwriter] Doyle [Bramhall II] and Derek. Of course, Derek because he’s my husband. I’ve been friends with Doyle for years. Doyle’s a badass, Derek’s a badass,” she said.
The couple attempt to keep their badassness in check when they’re at home with their kids.
“When Derek and I are at home, we do a little bit. We’re pretty good about going into our home studio to work. That’s when our kids know we’re working. I don’t sit them down and say, ‘Listen to this.’ It’s funny, if I’m playing guitar in bed, Derek’s not listening. If he’s playing in our room, I’m not listening. If we’re in the studio, we pay attention,” she said.
Opening (“co-headlining” she corrects) the show is British bluesguy James Hunter, who wowed Indianapolis audiences with his performance at Indy Jazz Fest in 2007. His new album, The Hard Way (Hear Music), makes ’50s and ’60s blues/soul/R&B relevant today.