Susan Tedeschi hits the Mod Club Tuesday (November 1). Rating: NNN
Even just a few years back, a 60s R&B concept album like Susan Tedeschi's Hope And Desire never would've made it past the pitch stage at a major label. But with the left-field success of Joss Stone and the Grammy-approved production acumen of Joe Henry, we now have a blues guitar slinger like Tedeschi soulfully crooning covers of largely forgotten classics by Jimmy Holiday, Percy Mayfield and Al 'TNT' Braggs against the familiar purr of a Hammond B-3. While Tedeschi has the vocal chops to take on Otis Redding's Security without embarrassing herself, she's clearly no Etta James. She lacks a genuine feel for the material, and appears to have learned it by rote from singles provided by her support crew. Thankfully, they're good records.