News

“Wide-open vision of contemporary blues”

The “Queen of the Blues,” is making another visit to Connecticut. […] Shemekia Copeland sounds like no one else, whether she’s belting out a raucous blues-rocker tune, getting front and center while firing up a blistering soul-shouter, or bringing the spirit to a gospel-fueled R&B rave-up or digging deep down into a subtle ballad,. She can use her voice in a number of ways, alternately sultry, assertive or roaring.

Copeland’s wide-open vision of contemporary blues, roots and soul music showcases the evolution of a passionate artist with a modern musical and lyrical approach. She reaches into an audience with her powerful singing. A history in the blues lets her express the history and still add her youthful touch. (Her Father Johnny “Clyde” Copeland will be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis in May.)

By Domenic Forcella in The Register Citizen, before Shemekia’s performance at the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den on Thursday, March 16, in Uncansville, Connecticut.

Read the full story in The Register Citizen.  

Johnny Copeland inducted
into the Blues Hall of Fame

My family and I are so excited about my daddy being inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame! A big thanks to the Blues Foundation!

— By Shemekia Copeland.

Shemekia and her dad, Johnny Clyde Copeland © Family Archive

The Blues Foundation announced this year’s inductees for the Blues Hall of Fame, including Texas guitarist and singer Johnny Copeland, Shemekia Copeland’s father.

“Six performers, one album, five singles, one book and one magazine founder will be inducted at the Blues Foundation’s 38th Annual Induction Ceremony on May 10, 2017

The Blues Foundation welcomes the 38th class of Blues Hall of Fame inductees in a ceremony taking place on May 10, 2017. This year’s 14 richly deserving honorees represent all five of the Hall of Fame’s categories: Performers, Non-Performing Individuals, Classics of Blues Literature, Classics of Blues Recording (Song) and Classics of Blues Recording (Album).

The six performers chosen for induction include two distinctive vocalists, Mavis Staples and Latimore; a pair of legendary guitarists, Magic Slim and Johnny Copeland along with longtime Howlin’ Wolf sidemen guitarist Willie Johnson; and piano-man Henry Gray. They will join the more than 125 performers who already are Hall of Fame members. […]

Johnny Copeland (1937-1997) was one of a bevy of blazing guitar slingers to emerge from the vibrant Third Ward of Houston, Texas, and one of the city’s most powerful singers as well. Establishing himself with a series of blues and soul singles beginning in 1958, he attained national prominence in the 1980s recording blues albums for Rounder Records. His daughter Shemekia has followed in his footsteps by winning multiple Blues Music Awards.”

Read the full press release on The Blues Foundation.

Photos from the Mahindra Blues Festival

The Mahindra Blues Festival shared plenty of great photos of Shemekia’s performance at the Mumbai, India, festival, on February 12, 2017.

Photo courtesy Mahindra Blues Festival

Photo courtesy Mahindra Blues Festival

Photo courtesy Mahindra Blues Festival

Photo courtesy Mahindra Blues Festival

Visit the gallery for some more.

“A superstar on stage”
in India

Photo courtesy of Mahindra Blues Festival

Shemekia Copeland left an impact on her previous appearance, six years ago when the audience requested multiple encores from her. We met her before the concert and asked how she felt about singing the blues halfway round the world. “Everyone in the world sings and loves the blues–only they don’t know it,” she said with her beaming smile. Copeland must surely like to sing; she has left behind her six week-old baby, Johnny, at home. Incidentally, Johnny has been named after Copeland’s father Johnny Copeland, a well known blues singer himself. […]

Copeland was a powerhouse at the Mahindra Blues Festival, a superstar on stage and she could do no wrong. For almost 90 minutes she had the huge audience spellbound with her songs […]

Copeland’s performance alone was well worth the price of entry to the festival!

By Sunil Sampat, in RollingStone India, after Shemekia’s performance at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumba, India.

Read the full review in RollingStone India. 

 

“The kind of powerhouse, roaring voice”

Shemekia Copeland wants someone to invite her to an Indian wedding. The kind that has over 1,200 guests and goes on for four days. But that dream will have to wait a few years as this three-time Grammy nominated blues singer from New York leaves town tonight, right after she steps off the stage at Bandra’s Mahindra Blues Festival 2017. And given how much she is pining for the six-week-old son smiling from the wallpaper of her iPhone, the 37-year-old can hardly be persuaded to stay. “He hasn’t even had his shots yet,” says Copeland, now in a Bandra five-star. Just earlier in the day, she sang him his favourite bedtime song via Facetime. Her is the kind of powerhouse, roaring `part-Memphis, part-Chicago’ voice that, besides a bevy of blues awards, has earned Copeland the title of ‘Queen of the Blues’. […]

For Copeland, who performed at the debut edition of the festival in 2011, Mumbai feels different this time. “It’s as if the whole city is waiting for you to perform,” she says.

Copeland will most likely turn up in her favourite colour–black–while vowing audiences with numbers from her acclaimed album `Outskirts of Love’. She is happy to note the equal gender ratio at this festival. “There needs to be more of a presence for us,” says Copeland, who usually finds just one woman singer at blues festivals.

By Sharmila Ganesan Ram, in The Times of India, before Shemekia’s performance at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai, India.

Read the full article in The Times of India. 

“Strong and booming, yet subtle, soulful and even sultry”

“The world in many ways seems to be getting meaner,” says Shemekia Copeland, feminist singer, also known as the ‘Queen of the Blues’. “The poor get poorer. People turn their backs on orphans and refugees. And, of course, corporations continue to destroy mother earth,” adds the three-time Grammy nominee as she gets ready to perform at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai on Sunday. […]

Copeland’s vocals are strong and booming, yet subtle, soulful and even sultry. The artiste, who makes no bones of her overt concern with politics and views her performance before the Obamas at the White House as an unforgettable experience, grew up on a steady diet of blues, gospel and country in a Harlem ghetto.

Shemekia Copeland tells Ornella D’Souza and DNA about her father, her feminist inspirations and the greats who shaped her music, before her performance at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai, India.

Read the full story in DNA. 

“Blues running
in every vein of her body”

Shemekia Copeland has blues running in every vein of her body. Daughter to blues guitar player Johnny Copeland, this woman will enthrall you with her voice and her presence like they did back in the good times. Damn right she’s married to the blues. So if you still haven’t gotten a ticket to this, nothing less than an experience of a fest, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that you’re missing out on some quality music.

On Radioandmusic.com before Shemekia’s performance at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai, India.

Read the full article. 

“The 3 power women
to watch out for”

The year is also special as it features three female vocalists, each known for their distinct style. On one end of the spectrum is three-time Grammy nominee Shemekia Copeland, whose raucous vocals take contemporary blues to a gospel-fuelled space. […]

Currently working on a new album, this will be Copeland’s first international tour since she gave birth to her first child, Johnny Lee. “I’m looking forward to playing songs from my latest album, Outskirts of Love, and collaborating with Billy Gibbons again,” she says about her Mumbai concert.

By Megha Mahindru for Vogue India in a story called “The 3 power women to watch out for” before Shemekia’s performance at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai, India, February 11 and 12, 2017. The journalist also quizzed Shemekia, along with the two other female performers, Janiva Magness and Grainne Duffy.

Read the full story in Vogue India

 

“One fortissimo
after another”

Rennie Sparks, Shemekia Copeland, and Jessie Mueller and singing together during the Chicago Voices Concert © Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune

essie Mueller, Michelle Williams, Matthew Polenzani, Shemekia Copeland, and Renee Fleming singing together at the Chicago Voices Concert © Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune

How wise of Fleming, musical director Doug Peck and colleagues to have opened the night with Chicago blues diva Shemekia Copeland igniting “The Battle Is Over (But the War Goes On).” Blessed with the most enormous instrument in the cast, Copeland offered an object lesson in what rousing Chicago blues is all about. Even the vast expanse of the Civic Opera House could not quite contain her mighty alto, the singer piling up one fortissimo after another without a hint of strain in her voice (nor any indication that she had given birth to her first child last Christmas Eve).

By Howard Reich, in the Chicago Tribune, after the Chicago Voices Concert at the  Civic Opera House in Chicago on Saturday, February 4.

Read the full story by Howard Reich and see more photos by Nuccio DiNuzzo in the Chicago Tribune.

An interview to
“Make It Better”

Photo Mike White

Shemekia Copeland has dazzled crowds around the world with her soulful voice and raw stage talent, along with her unique blend of soul, country and blues music. The Grammy-nominated singer hails from New York City, though she’s called the Windy City her home for the past 12 years.

Will Mendelson interviewed Shemekia Copeland before her “highly-anticipated performance at Lyric Opera’s Chicago Voices Concert, which will also feature Jessie Mueller, John Prine, Michelle Williams and more.” Shemekia talks about her upcoming performance, tells where her passion for blues and soul comes from, the differences between the New York and the Chicago scenes, points out several of her favorite spots in Chicago, talks about the charities that are close to her heart…

Read the full interview on Make It Better

Dont’ forget to use promo code “COPELAND” when ordering your ticket.