Record Review - 1 February 19 2003

Wait for Me is the follow-up to Susan Tedeschi's 1998 debut, Just Won't Burn, which earned her a 2000 Grammy nomination for "best new artist" and put her on the road, opening for the likes of B.B. King while headlining substantial venues of her own. Her debut turned heads and raised expectations, and the wait for its successor raised the stakes further.

Finally on the streets, Wait for Me has garnered its own Grammy nomination. A soulful singer, Tedeschi is up for Best Female Vocal Rock Performance for "Alone," a track penned by Tommy Simms, who also wrote Eric Clapton's "Change the World." The cut bears a striking resemblance to Bonnie Raitt at her most commercial, and sets the tone for the rest of the album. Consequently, some of the edges get smoothed off, but not many. The joyous "Feeling Music Brings" (with husband Derek Trucks), the funky, quirky "Hampmotized" (with Col. Bruce Hampton on guitar), and the delicate acoustic cover of Paul Rishell's "Blues on a Holiday" are a fusion of "roots" tradition and contemporary pop craft that even the most jaded listener can embrace.

i>Susan Tedeschi plays the Roxy Sat., Feb. 22.