Hope and Desire

The fourth studio album from the Boston blues singer and musician is a very different record for her. Not only did she not write any material of her own, but she also doesn't play any guitar on it. After having a daughter, she wanted to get a new CD out, but without much time for songwriting she opted to do a record of soulful interpretations.

She chose some fine material from rock 'n' roll artists, like the Rolling Stones' "You Got the Silver" to "Lord Protect My Child" from Bob Dylan. But, most importantly, she dug out some R&B gems like "Tired of My Tears," a tune recorded by Ray Charles, plus Stevie Wonder's "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" and "Share Your Love with Me," a song which has been done by both Bobby "Blue" Bland and Aretha Franklin.

To say that Tedeschi makes the most of this great material is an understatement. She simply does these songs justice. Few, if any, of these songs are obvious choices, and yet each is not only a good song but well-suited for Tedeschi's style. Even strikingly less obvious material, like "Sweet Forgiveness" by Iris DeMent, meshes well with the whole.

In songs like "Tired of My Tears" and "Loving You Is Sweeter That Ever," Tedeschi rolls out a bouncy Southern soul sound, likely to keep all listeners popping fingers and tapping toes. But it's on songs like "Evidence" (a 1970 vehicle for Alabama soul singer Candi Stanton) and "You Got the Silver" that Tedeschi really unwraps her voice with the emotion and vocal-cord-shredding power of a latter-day Janis Joplin.

Hope & Desire is an excellent addition to any CD collection, especially anyone who values jaw-droppingly good vocal talent.

Mike Sauter, WYEP Music Director