If you go
What: Live performance by blues guitarist Susan Tedeschi. The concert is part of the Steamboat Ski Area's "Springalicious" closing weekend festival
When: 4 p.m. Sunday
Where: Gondola Square, Steamboat Ski Area
Steamboat Springs Susan Tedeschi can wail.
A blues guitarist who picked up her style and her instrument about 15 years ago, Tedeschi has spent that time crafting a soulful, gutsy method of singing and shredding that fits right in with the people she names as influences.
Tedeschi always has surrounded herself with stellar musicians - she credits a 1998 tour with B.B. King and Buddy Guy for making blues an addiction, and every official release she's done has been firmly rooted in smoking organ solos and killer guitar playing.
She comes to Colorado with a new band for her first full-fledged outing since November, and plans to play songs from all her albums, including a new one due out sometime later this year. On Sunday, she'll play a free closing day concert at the Steamboat Ski Area.
On the phone before she set out on a tour that will hit Colorado ski country before heading to the American South, Tedeschi talked about collaborating on her upcoming record, how she got into the blues and what that style of music means to her.
Steamboat Pilot & Today: Tell me about the album you're recording.
Susan Tedeschi: We've been in the studio for the last couple of months coordinating and writing and playing. : This one will be all originals. I've written a ton of new stuff, and I've written stuff on my own, as well as with my husband Derek Trucks, and with Gary Louris from the Jayhawks, Gary Nicholson, Al Anderson - I've written with a lot of different people.
SP&T: Is writing with other people something you're enjoying?
ST: This is a new thing for me. I like it, I've never done that before really. Things can go in different directions that you never thought about before.
SP&T: How did you get into playing the blues?
ST: It was when I was just out of college. : I started sitting in with a blues jam some of my friends did on Sundays, and they said they needed singers. I came down and sang, and started looking into some of the blues artists.
And then I started getting hooked on the whole idea of playing guitar and, once that happened, it was like I caught a bug and it was really addictive. It really wasn't until I was about 22 that I started playing out live and started really listening to B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert King, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers - a lot of the blues-based artists.
It just took it in a whole other direction, but I'd been influenced by a lot of things before that, by Bob Dylan and John Lennon, Aretha (Franklin).
SP&T: So were the blues something you grew up with, or was starting to play after college the first time you'd really been around it?
ST: I had grown up around it. My dad was a fan of a lot of country blues artists : Lightnin' Hopkins, a lot of the old Southern, more country blues, as well as gospel, like Mavis Staples and the Staple Singers, and people like Sam Cooke.
When I discovered the Chicago blues stuff, it really just blew my mind.
They were so melodic, and they were singing just so incredible, they were singing to me something like Aretha or Otis Redding would sing.
And then I went out on tour with B.B. King in '98 with Buddy Guy and Dr. John. It was really just something that I loved to play and related to, and it felt really universal.