“A powerhouse vocalist
who can pretty much do it all”

“I’m drivin’ out of Nashville with a body in the trunk/Trying to figure out the depths that I have sunk” – it takes an immense amount of pluck to sell a line that far over the top. But leave it to Shemekia Copeland to pull it off with ease on “Drivin’ Out of Nashville,” from her very fine and most recent album “Outskirts of Love” (Alligator Records). The daughter of famed Texas bluesman Johnny Copeland, Shemekia has always come by her blues bonafides honestly as a powerhouse vocalist who can pretty much do it all. Or as she puts it elsewhere in that same song, “Country ain’t nothing but the blues with a twang.” Believe it.

By David Menconi before Shemekia’s performance at the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill’s Memorial Hall.

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