by Stacy E. Lukasavitz
“You say you haven’t been rocked in a long, long time….” From the very first line of the very first song of Just Won’t Burn, Susan Tedeschi sucks you into her world of hardcore, genuine, “mean,” blues. This is a rare find today in a world where “blues” is shamefully defined on the Top 40 charts as anyone with a harmonica and a bass. You won’t find cheesy pop Top 40 with Susan Tedeschi.
“Rock Me Right,” the lead track on Tedeschi’s sophomore album, takes you into a world reminiscent of old style rock and soul, a world created by the likes of Etta James, defined by Janis Joplin, but had yet to be taken to its extreme. Until Susan Tedeschi, no one could even come close. From the crooning moans on “Little By Little,” to the throaty, Janis-type emotional intensity of “It Hurt So Bad,” Tedeschi reaches deep within her own soul and shares her inner pain with you until you can almost feel it yourself. The title track, “Just Won’t Burn,” is a quieter ballad than most on the album, yet it still drills right into your bones. Not only does she sing, but Tedeschi plays a mean lead guitar on most of the songs on this album, and even plays piano on the song, “Found Someone New.” To see her live is an experience to remember. When she took the second stage at Lilith Fair this year, every single person in a listening radius suddenly stopped and found themselves drawn to this young woman with a voice and a soul that could be reincarnate of the great blues women of the past. Tedeschi is a scarce breed these days, she is a performer that doesn’t just sing the blues TO you, she sings WITH you.
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