Watch Susan Tedeschi’s Eloquent Cover Of Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’

Celebrate the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s co-leader’s birthday today by revisiting this moving performance.

By Andy Kahn Nov 9, 2023 6:05 am PST

Acclaimed musician Susan Tedeschi was born on this date in 1970. The guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and co-leader of the Tedeschi Trucks Band alongside her husband Derek Trucks, is admired by fans and fellow musicians alike for her many talents and seemingly effortless style.

In most cases, Tedeschi would be the guitarist in a band with her name in it. An exception is when Derek Trucks is another namesake guitarist in the group. While there are plenty of arguments to be made about not overlooking Tedeschi’s skillful guitar playing, one thing she brings to the Tedeschi Trucks Band that the other guitarist does not is a captivating singing voice.

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It can certainly be said that Susan Tedeschi’s vocals are as essential to the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s sound as Derek Trucks’ slide guitar. Soulful, bluesy, dynamic and powerful, Tedeschi’s voice carries the group with an eloquence equal to the musicianship on display. Supported by TTB backing vocalists Mike Mattison, Mark Rivers and Alecia Chakour and keyboardist Gabe Dixon, there’s no denying the impact Tedeschi’s signature singing voice brings to the group.

While Tedeschi will occasionally set down her guitar in order to focus on delivering a standout singing performance, it is rare to see her deliver a truly solo vocal during a live concert. The elusive Tedeschi solo vocal performance became part of the band repertoire, albeit still in rare instances, when she debuted a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River” during TTB’s Orpheum Theater run in her hometown of Boston in December 2021.

Accompanied by Dixon on piano, Tedeschi led a second rendition of Mitchell’s classic from the 1971 album Blue at another show that a was part of the same Boston run. “River” was performed by Tedeschi and Dixon again during Tedeschi Trucks Band’s 2022 run at The Beacon Theatre in New York City, their 2022 visit to Boston and most recently in March 2023 at Washington D.C.’s Warner Theatre.

Below, watch the first two performances of “River” from Boston and the rendition at The Beacon:

Beacon Theatre – October 8, 2022


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edtyre1 (See 27 videos)
Tedeschi Trucks Band (See 298 videos)

Orpheum Theater – December 4, 2021


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Less Than Face Productions (See 9 videos)
Tedeschi Trucks Band (See 298 videos)

Orpheum Theater – December 1, 2021


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Jay Rose (See 2 videos)
Tedeschi Trucks Band (See 298 videos)
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[Originally Published: November 9, 2022, Updated: November 9, 2023]

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