Susan TEDESCHI Band – Better Days 1995

Susan TEDESCHI Band – Better Days 1995

Blues

This reissue of the Boston favorite’s 1995 debut clearly highlights her greatest strength: her voice. Susan Tedeschi has been singing since she was 4 years old, and it shows; her voice has the power and control that comes from long experience. If her version of “Hound Dog” doesn’t blow the top off of Big Mama Thornton’s original, it’s still a strong effort, and she’s just as good with her own material. The title track–penned by Adrienne Hayes, guitarist for Tedeschi’s band–is especially good, as the slow tempo allows Tedeschi to stretch her pipes a bit. Unfortunately, even by the release of Just Won’t Burn, Tedeschi’s guitar hadn’t caught up with her voice, and the discrepancy is even more obvious here–there’s a spark, but it doesn’t quite catch fire. Still, there’s no question that her heart’s in the right place, and if her guitar work continues to improve, there’ll be no stopping her.
By Genevieve Williams. AMG.
**
Tedeschi formed the Susan Tedeschi Band in 1994 with vocalist and guitarist Adrienne Hayes. They released their Better Days album regionally in 1995. Hayes left the band shortly thereafter, replaced by young guitar prodigy Sean Costello, and Aiello would be replaced by Tom Hambridge. It was this line-up that recorded the sessions released as Just Won’t Burn in 1998. Showcasing two bright young talents in Tedeschi and Costello, favorable word-of-mouth and live performances pushed the album to sales of over 500,000 copies, earning a Gold Record and a Grammy nomination as “Best New Artist.”
**
Originally released in 1995, Better Days was re-released after the success of Just Won’t Burn created a legion of blues fans wanting more of Susan Tedeschi. This record finds Tedeschi’s guitar prowess and eminent vocals proliferating the musical landscape in the same manner of blues legends who have gone before her. The tracks “It Hurts Me Too” and “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” are classic slow, bluesy songs complete with emotional vocal wailings that are sure to bring the house down when performed in a live arena. She picks up the pace with “Locomotive” and “I Don’t Want Nobody,” showing off her six-string skills. While there is no question that Tedeschi is a true talent and a blues force to be reckoned with, the musical arrangements could be improved by using a less-formulaic blues structure and attempting to offer something more contemporary. She has proven herself worthy of sharing the stage with the masters; her next challenge should be to break away and create her own sound.
By Erik Crawford. AMG.
**
Susan Tedeschi– Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Adrienne Hayes– Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Slide Guitar
Jim Lamond– Bass
Annie Raines– Harmonica
Mike Aiello- Drums
**
01. It’s up to You (Lamond, Tedeschi)  4:19
02. Gonna Write Him a Letter (Tedeschi)  3:05
03. Love Never Treats Me Right (Tedeschi)  2:11
04. It Hurts Me Too (James)  5:04
05. Locomotive (Tedeschi)  4:28
06. You’re on My Hair (instrumental-Tedeschi)  4:12
07. Better Days (Hayes)  6:40
08. Hound Dog (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller)  4:03
09. I Don’t Want Nobody (Robey)  2:58
10. Ain’t Nobody’s Business (Grainger, Robbins)  7:33
**

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