Live review: Susan Tedeschi

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Susan Tedeschi w/ Eric-Scott Guthrie

Neighborhood Theatre

April 17, 2009

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The Deal: Blues singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi rocks the 'Hood.

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The Good: Local singer-songwriter Eric-Scott Guthrie opened the show with a set of his acoustic folk songs. Different from the sometimes raucous and dance-worthy songs of his former band The New Familiars, Guthrie showed his talent as a songwriter and the finger-picking banjo style he used with the NewFams has translated easily over onto the guitar. Lyrically, his lyrics were at times weighty — in an emotional sense, but his vocals got the message across and draw the crowd in — you didn't hear much chatting as those in the room were actively listening.

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As for the headliner, if you like Tedeschi's latest album, Back to the River, this was the show for you. The bespectacled singer/guitarist tore through nearly every song on the new album and tossed in a few older ones for good measure. Her raspy vocals were fantastic with plenty of soul and emotion. I saw her a few years ago and this one was a better show, by a long shot. While her voice sounded like it was in peak form, her guitar work was also impressive. Her solo on "Just Won't Burn" drew applause and hoots from the crowd. It should be noted that former Dizzy Gillespie bandmate, sax player Ron Holloway, tore through some fantastic solos of his own.

There were times, such as during "700 Houses," when things calmed down and her vocals became more of the focus of the night, but there was plenty of time when it got kicked up and the crowd was moving. The show seemed to have hit a peak near the end with the heavy groove of "Somebody Knows." In a recent interview, Tedeschi was modest about her own guitar abilities compared to her husband, Derek Trucks, but there's no doubt that she can hold her own during a performance and she easily proved that.

The Bad: At roughly one hour and 45 minutes, it felt much too short.

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The Verdict: Sometimes short and sweet leaves you wanting more... and that's not such a bad thing.

Setlist

Back to the River

Love Will

Don't Think Twice

People

Break in the Road

700 Houses

True

Butterfly

Just Won't Burn

Security

The Danger Zone

Evidence

Looking for Answers

Talking About

It Hurt So Bad

---ENCORE---

Feeling Music Brings

Wait for Me

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