Free this Monday only

Today only, Monday, September 14, eMusic features Shemekia’s song Outskirts of Love as their free daily download. This is the title track from the brand new Outskirts of Love CD, that just hit the streets last Friday.

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“Thrilling to witness”

Shemekia Copeland returns to Alligator Records with an album that kicks some serious ass. Outskirts of Love is like going to church and a speakeasy at the same time.

My first encounter with Ms. Copeland was when I saw her open for Buddy Guy in Edmonton in early 2006, and I’ve been a fan ever since. As singers go she’s robust and soulful, getting her songs (and those of others) across like she believes every word she is singing […]

These songs and the way Shemekia interprets them have miles of depth, it’s almost as if she has no choice but to do this with her life- and that’s thrilling to witness. […]

If you want to hear true greatness, put on Outskirts Of Love right now and thank me later.

By John The Rock Doctor Kereiff, Gonzoonline (Canada).

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“Her performances
are breathtaking”

Influenced by the late Koko Taylor, the only other blues singer, at least for this writer, who could match Shemekia’s sheer intensity, the mantle has been passed. At the 2011 Chicago Blues Festival, the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois officially declared Copeland to be “The New Queen of the Blues.”

As you listen to her interpret Solomon Burke (“I Feel a Sin Coming”), John Fogerty (“Long As I Can See the Light”), Terry and McGhee (“The Battle Is Over”) and Albert King (“Wrapped Up in Love Again”), you just marvel at the bone chilling fervor and range of her vocals. She has already won eight Blues Awards and is still in her mid-thirties with a long career ahead of her. Shemekia tours frequently, and has a number of East Coast dates lined up including 10/1 at the Sellersville Theater, PA and 10/2 at City Winery, NYC.

Take my word for it. Her live performances are breathtaking.

Jim Hynes, in Elmore Magazine.

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#3 on iTunes the first day!

The album Outkirsts of Love made it to number 3 the day of its release on the iTunes Blues Album Chart! Number 3 in the grid, between two great references: Buddy Guy’s Born to Play Guitar and Etta James’s At Last…

Shemekia Copeland - itunes number 3

“At the top of her game”

Outskirts of Love (which finds her returning to Alligator Records after a pair of albums for Telarc) shows once again (Shemekia Copeland)’s one of the strongest and most capable vocalists in the contemporary blues game. Copeland has a solid, expressive voice with plenty of power, she knows how to sell a song without an excess of melodrama, and with producer and songwriter Oliver Wood she’s found a creative partnership that serves both sides well. […]

Shemekia Copeland is one vocalist who can cut a straightforward blues set in the 21st Century and still make it sound fresh and exciting, and Outskirts of Love captures her at the top of game, young enough to still pack a wallop and experienced enough to know just what her music needs.

By Mark Deming,

Read the full review in Allmusic.comLOGO allmusic com

“That’s great news”

Shemekia Copeland returns to Alligator Records for Outskirts of Love (out September 11, 2015), but little else has changed for this bonafide blues belter. On both counts, that’s great news.

Copeland has done nothing less than bring the blues into the twenty-first century with its integrity intact during her first stint with the highly regarded roots label over four long players between 1998 and 2006. Since then, Copeland has honed her swaggering brand of rock-infused blues, finding the perfect collaborator in producer, songwriter and guitarist Oliver Wood, who has a knack for writing tunes that suit Copeland so well, you’re convinced she wrote them herself. […]

There’s no let up in Shemekia Copeland found on Outskirts of Love; her hold on the Queen of the Blues crown is as firm as ever.

S. Victor Aaron, for Something Else!

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Outskirts of Love is out!

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Outskirts of Love is out! You can discover all the 12 tracks, including those with special guests Billy Gibbons, Alvin Youngblood Hart, and Robert Randolph. Listen to it in the MUSIC section.

The album has received outstanding reviews even before the official release: “Copeland tops herself on cut after cut. This is how you do it, and nobody does it better than Shemekia Copeland” (No Depression), “Another unique and classy project from Copeland, a singer whose stunning, powerful vocals perfectly mesh with provocative music aimed equally at the head, heart and ultimately the dancing feet” (American Songwriter), “Her voice is like thunder, complete with lightning” (WBGO), “Shemekia’s voice possesses more nuance; more expression, and more drama than ever before” (Making a Scene), “Shemekia Copeland (is) extending her definition of modern blues to include a sort of pan-Americana approach. […] With crucial contributions from her manager/producer/songwriter John Hahn, Copeland has crafted an album that speaks to the times” (NPR), “It’s Copeland’s voice, part Koko Taylor, part Mavis Staples and capable of incredible expression, that makes this so super-special” (MOJO), “Where once we had Bessie Smith, Ruth Brown, Dinah Washington and Etta James, today we have Shemekia Copeland, a worthy successor to her legendary forebears […] There’s something for everyone on these Outskirts […] She proves genre is a dirty word, and interpretation a talent too often overlooked” (Classicalite). Same stellar reviews in France: “The album of the maturity for the ‘New Queen of the Blues’ […] Never has Shemekia sounded better” (Blues Again), “From blues rock to gospel, from soul to funk or folk music, Shemekia […] can sing it all, and with talent too) (Zicazic). Find all the reviews in the REVIEWS section.

Shemekia and her band start their big Outskirts of Love Fall Tour today at the Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield, Maine. The show is sold out. But there are many more shows and festivals to come. Discover them in the TOUR section.

Shemekia Copeland © Photo Mike White

Shemekia Copeland © Photo Mike White / Alligator Records

“Nobody does it better”

2015 Shemekia Copeland - Outskirts Of Love 300x300

Nowadays, when Shemekia Copeland opens her mouth, everybody pays attention. Her blast furnace delivery and bombastic performances have made her a hard act to follow in any genre. Her latest, Outskirts of Love (Alligator Records), confirms her status as diva supreme in a variety of musical settings.

Blasting away on the title cut, backed by producer Oliver Wood’s fiery guitar licks, Copeland delivers scathing descriptions of love-ravaged victims. Poignant lyrics —by Wood and Copeland’s manager/executive producer John Hahn— portray a gritty slice of life: a woman in a wedding dress waiting at a bus stop, holding a suitcase tied with string, all she has left since she pawned her wedding ring, living on the Outskirts of Love. […]

This is the best effort of her career. Copeland tops herself on cut after cut. This is how you do it, and nobody does it better than Shemekia Copeland.

By Grant Britt, for No Depression.

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“Another unique
and classy project”

Along with expanding her musical approach, Copeland started grappling with socio-political issues, choosing material that made larger statements about the personal and economic world issues.  […]

It’s a smart move. Copeland’s voice and style remain instantly recognizable, and the music now allows her to use dynamics and subtleties to better express feelings that the lyrics describe.  This album’s intentions are implied in its title. Copeland sings about those on the outskirts of society, specifically the homeless (Cardboard Box, a wonderful duet with Alvin Youngblood Hart), date rape and domestic violence victims who murderously turn the tables on their situations (Crossbone Beach and Drivin’ Out of Nashville) and those who manage to find a light at the end of the tunnel (a killer cover of John Fogerty’s Long as I Can See the Light). As usual, she grabs one of her dad’s songs providing another winner in the driving Devil’s Hand, delivered with a backwoods Mississippi Delta edge. […]

The closing stripped down swamp gospel pushed by stand-up bass and forlorn harmonica of Jesse Mae Hemphill’s Lord, Help the Poor puts the wraps on another unique and classy project from Copeland, a singer whose stunning, powerful vocals perfectly mesh with provocative music aimed equally at the head, heart and ultimately the dancing feet.

The rewiew is by Hal Horowitz for American Songwriter magazine, who gives the album 4 stars.

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Ready to hit the road!

We are so happy to hit the road soon to come and see you! First show in Maine is sold out, but there are plenty of other venues and festivals coming up.

Check out the schedule.