Back To The River, (October 28, Verve Forecast), the forthcoming release by Grammy nominated vocalist/guitarist Susan Tedeschi, features collaborations with a bevy of roots rock royalty. Susan’s earlier releases featured a limited number of original songs but on her new record she co-wrote on all but one of the 11 tracks. The record features writing credits by everyone from the legendary Tony Joe White to up and coming singer songwriter Sonya Kitchell, from songwriter/producer John Leventhal to Gary Louris of the Jayhawks. Susan worked with each of these artists in person rather than the now common practice of collaborating remotely.
In Nashville, Susan visited Tony Joe White where they wrote together in his studio, a converted civil war hospital on the outskirts of the city limits. Tony Joe asked Susan to tell him about her life and she said “I feel like I am constantly trying to get home and back to the river and back to my family.” Susan lives on the St. John’s River in Jacksonville, FL with her husband Derek Trucks and their two children. Tony Joe suggested she write about that and “Back To The River,” the album’s title track was born.
Susan co-wrote two of the most riveting songs on the album with John Leventhal (Rosanne Cash, David Crosby, Michelle Branch) at the Pilot Recording Studios in NYC: “Revolutionize Your Soul” a song inspired by “A Long Walk Home,” a memoir Susan read about boy soldiers in Africa; and “700 Houses” a lament for all the recent natural disasters happening all over the world. Susan explains, “John’s writing style differs from mine in that he likes using strong visualization in his lyrics. I learned a lot from writing with him and I think these are two of the most powerful songs on the record.”
Up and comer Sonya Kitchell is one of the artists that traveled to Susan’s home to write with her. “I’ve known Sonya since she was 16 years old, I’ve been a fan of her songwriting and always wanted to collaborate with her.” Together they wrote the anthemic track “People” which has already become a highlight of Tedeschi’s live shows.