"With a voice marked by weariness and loss, it's scarcely credible Tedeschi was in her twenties": Susan Tedeschi still sails and soars as Just Won't Burn turns 25

An expanded version of Susan Tesdeschi's breakthrough album Just Won't Burn, 25 years on

Susan Tedeschi: Just Won't Burn cover art
(Image: © Fantasy Records)

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In the age of the deluxe, overstuffed box set, it's a little strange to be presented with a 25th anniversary edition of an album that isn't heavy on unnecessary paraphernalia and studio tracks not deemed worth of inclusion first time round, but the five unreleased tracks here are worth the entrance fee.

The original album still stands up, with the slower songs – the ones that allow Tedeschi's extraordinary voice to sail and soar – having weathered best. So the sublime version of John Prine's Angel Of Montgomery tucked away towards the end of the album feels much weightier then the opening Creedence-ish chug of Rock Me Right, and the hazy, meandering title track makes the following rattle through Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean feel rather slight. 

Late guitarist Sean Costello shines throughout, with a twinkling solo on You Need To Be With Me an early highlight. Of the unreleased songs, Voodoo Woman is a solid blues, while the woozy Waste Of Time – a rough outtake in which Tedeschi's voice sounds like it's being sung down a telephone line – should have made the original tracklist. 

However good Waste Of Time is – and it's really good – the best of the extra songs are stretched out and blissful versions of the title track and Looking For Answers, both recorded by Tedeschi Trucks Band at their spiritual home, New York's Beacon Theatre. With a voice marked by weariness and loss, it's scarcely credible Tedeschi was in her twenties when she stepped onto the stage, and the lively crowd know they're listening to something special.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 37 years in music industry, online for 24. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.