Part of a new series of recordings taken from the Austin City Limits broadcasts, Susan Tedeschi's performance is a more complete -- though not unedited -- version of what viewers saw on TV. Tedeschi's music naturally gives itself to a live setting. The program is a good one; featuring her regular band, this set juxtaposes a nice collection of material that has appeared on her studio albums, performed with a wonderful balance of passion and finesse that free-ranges across R&B, blues, and funk. Tedeschi's gifts as a singer are considerable. She understands the limits of her middling range and knows how to emphasize nuance and expressiveness. In fact, though most obviously influenced by Bonnie Raitt, she is a true vocal stylist with her own unique sense of phrasing -- and live, the added grit and grease underscore the emotional nature of her tunes. As a guitar player, she's as slinger, period. She can hang with anyone. To top it all off, her bandmembers are crack; they pop the grooves in all the right places and never drop it. The finest moments here are her own songs, such as "I Fell in Love," "In the Garden," and "Wrapped in the Arms of Another." But some of the covers here stand out from their studio renditions, such as her now signature read of Paul Pena's "Gonna Move," Tommy Sims' "Alone," Stevie Wonder's "Love's in Need of Love Today," and her barn-burning version of John Prine's "Angel from Montgomery," which is so closely identified with Raitt. "Gonna Move," in particular, is almost an anthem at this point; Tedeschi's easy delivery and deep soul/gospel expressiveness are buoyed by the Hammond B-3 punch of Jason Crosby that swirls around her voice as she coaxes heartbreak and determination from Pena's lyric. This is a fine Tedeschi artifact; it doesn't replace her studio outings in any way, but it complements them nicely.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek