News

“More than heartbreak”

Shemekia Copeland - Photo Joseph A Rosen

Shemekia Copeland – Photo Joseph A Rosen

In describing Shemekia Copeland’s voice, writers have been challenged. (…)

The daughter of focal Texas guitar slinger Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, a man known for his character as much as for his singing and guitar playing, Shemekia — who headlines the Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival on Sunday — seems to have inherited her father’s broad perspective on life and his deserved self-confidence.

“It’s not my mission to be another blues singer singing about some guy who broke my heart,” she said during a recent phone interview.

By Arthur Shuey, in “To Copeland, blues is about more than heartbreak”, published by Star News, before Shemekia’s performances this Sunday at the 22nd annual Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival in North Carolina.

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“With spine-tingling authority”

For a powerhouse female vocalist, no one fills the bill better than Shemekia Copeland. She has extended the legacy of her late father, blues great Johnny Copeland, while refusing to be boxed in by a purist vision of the blues. On Outskirts of Love (Alligator ****) she continues her fruitful collaboration with producer, guitarist, and songwriter Oliver Wood. She sings songs by her father and Albert King, and delves into country blues with Alvin Youngblood Hart. But she also takes on numbers by Jesse Winchester, John Fogerty, and ZZ Top (with Billy Gibbons on guitar), making them her own with spine-tingling authority.

By Nick Cristiano, in his “Roundup of recent roots recordings”, published by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Shemekia to appear on NPR

LOGO npr weekend edition satuday

NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday will air an interview and performance with Shemekia this coming Saturday, October 10. Host Scott Simon will talk to Shemekia about her new CD, Outskirts Of Love, and her life as “a fresh, gripping roots music performer.” (Wall Street Journal) Shemekia will receive about ten minutes of airtime.

Scott Simon is one of America’s most admired writers and broadcasters. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His weekly two-hour show, Weekend Edition Saturday, has been called by the Washington Post, “the most literate, witty, moving, and just plain interesting news show on any dial,” and by Brett Martin of Time-Out New York “the most eclectic, intelligent two hours of broadcasting on the airwaves.” He has won every major award in broadcasting.

Weekend Edition is heard on NPR member stations across the United States and around the globe on NPR Worldwide and reaches an audience of nearly four million listeners each week. 

Tune in on NPR this Saturday, October 10! LOGO npr

Read the full Alligator press release.

“She belts out each song,
all heart and soul”

Think fiery. Blistering. Soulful. With a hint of gospel. The kind of voice that gives you chills.

Copeland reinvents the blues and makes them her own, especially on her new album, where she sings about modern problems, such as homelessness, date rape and domestic violence.

She belts out each song, all heart and soul.

“I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into all of my albums,” Copeland said. “But this one is very special to me. I’ve been making records since I was 18 years old. Now I’m 36 years old. I feel like I’ve been working forever to get to this point. (…)

By Colleen Curran, for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, before Shemekia’s performance at the Richmond Folk Festival this Friday, October 9, and Saturday, October 10, in Richmond, Virginia.

Read the full article on the Richmond Times-DispatchLOGO richmond times dispatch

Shemekia returns
to Teaneck, NJ

On her new album, “Outskirts of Love,” former Teaneck resident Shemekia Copeland gives voice and hope to troubled characters.

“Everybody is on the outskirts of something on this record, whether it’s love, justice, homelessness or whatever it may be,” Copeland said by phone. “I bring what’s very important to me to my records and always try to find a positive way to help people.”

“Outskirts of Love,” the feted blues singer’s first album in three years, was released last month. Copeland, who graduated from Teaneck High School in 1997, returns to the township on Tuesday for a show at Mexicali Live. (…)

By Brian Aberback, on NorthJersey.com, before Shemekia’s show this Tuesday, October 6, at Mexicali Live, in Teaneck, New Jersey, where she lived as a teenager.

Learn more on NorthJersey.comLOGO northjersey

 

On WBGO’s Blues Hour

151005 Shemekia Copeland Michael Bourne The Blues Hour - Photo John Hahn

Shemekia Copeland with Michael Bourne, for The Blues Hour on WBGO – Photo John Hahn

“In radio studio WBGO having a great time with DJ Michael Bourne playing Outskirts of Love!” — Shemekia

Shemekia stopped in at New York City’s WBGO Jazz 88.3 for a live in-studio interview on Michael Bourne’s The Blues Hour between 3 – 4 PM ET.

151005 Shemekia Copeland Michael Bourne The Blues Hour

Listen to the interview on WBGOLOGO WBGO

“One blues force of nature”

This is one blues force of nature. There are so few young singers in this realm now, it’s hard to believe that Shemekia Copeland, who started so young, is such a veteran. And while all her previous work has been impressive, this is the album to really plant the flag in the ground.” (…)

Shemekia Copeland has the goods, and sings circles around just about anyone else. (…)

Shemekia Copeland works it for all she’s worth, and shows she’s riding shotgun these days, and has no intention of moving out of the seat all the way to the outskirts of town and beyond. Go head-on woman.

By Bill Bentley, columnist for The Morton Report, in Bentley’s Cotobre Bandstand.

Read the full review on The Morton ReportLOGO The Morton Report

Live on WXPN

Shemekia performed at World Café Live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Friday, October 2nd, for WXPN’s Free At Noon. The entire hour-long performance was webcast live. Two videos are online, of two of Shemekia’s songs: “Outskirts Of Love” and “It’s 2 A.M.”

They can be viewed hereLOGO wxpn

On WCVE this Saturday

“We hope you will join us this week (Saturday, October 3) on Time for the Blues as Henry and I are joining in with Richmond’s biggest musical event of the year! We’ve got some great music lined up that’s going to rock the late night hours,” announces John Porter. “This year, one of the big names is Alligator recording artist Shemekia Copeland. We have featured her before as well as her late father Johnny Copeland, but it’s been a while and since she has a great new album, Outskirts Of Love out now that’s generating a lot of buzz in the blues world, we figured this was a great time to feature her again.”

WCVE, which broadcasts on 88.9 FM in a big area around Richmond, Virginia, “will once again be bringing you the Richmond Folk Festival and that will include Copeland’s performance slated to start at 8:45 on Friday, October 9. She’ll also be performing at 6:15 on Saturday, October 10 but that will be after our broadcast window of the festival.”

Learn more about this Time for the Blues show, with Henry Cook and John Porter.

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“In top form on vocals”

2015 Shemekia Copeland - Outskirts Of Love 300x300

In 2012, Shemekia Copeland was crowned the “New Queen of the Blues” at the Chicago Blues Festival and the passing of the crown from Koko’s family couldn’t have been more appropriate. Shemekia is back on Alligator Records and this production does her up proud: new songs – some not blues and some not original but all excellent. She is in top form on vocals here as she was at this year’s Festival, a major highlight of that weekend. She has always dealt in social commentary and several songs here are sterling new examples: the opening “(Living on the) Outskirts of Love” is a roaring way to start, the verses about with runaway brides and neglected children.

At the Toronto Blues Society, John’s Blues Picks of September 2015 features Shemekia’s Outskirts Of Love.

Read the full review on the Toronto Blues Society website. LOGO toronto blues society