Press

“Her voice is her instrument”

Bluesmaster Johnny Clyde Copeland’s little girl is all grown up and her own woman now. As a shy young girl, Shemekia Copeland first sang at Harlem’s famed Cotton Club, thanks to dad’s pull. Through hard work and careful management, she since has developed her own public persona that’s taken her on tours to Europe, Canada and throughout the United States. […]

Her voice is her instrument, backed by a strong four-piece band with each member bringing decades of experience to the stage. At times she will sound like a fiery blues rocker. She does gospel as well as anyone on the circuit today. She can deliver a blistering soul shout, be sultry and even pull off a country-inspired ballad. […]

John Hahn, her longtime manager who has known the singer’s family for 30 years, said, “Shemekia, over time, has found a voice as an artist that other women can relate to. … She has really come to be her own person, singing about issues that women and mothers deal with all the time in their lives.”

By Dan Burnett in Weekender, before Shemekia’s performance at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania this Friday, August 4.

Read the full story in Weekender

 

Living Blues Award
for Shemekia

Living Blues Magazine has announced the winners for the 2017 Living Blues Awards. Shemekia Copeland was named Blues Artist Of The Year (Female) in the Reader’s Pole, almost two years after the release of Outskirts of Love. This is Shemekia’s 12th Living Blues Award.

“An inspiring send-off”
at North Atlantic Blues Fest

Local — and international — favorite Shemekia Copeland, winner of numerous BMAs and officially crowned the New Queen of the Blues in Chicago, will make her first appearance at the blues fest as a mom. Her first child, a son named for her father, the late, great Johnny Copeland, arrived in December. […]

Shemekia Copeland has played just about everywhere, including for the troops in Iraq and Kuwait; and with everybody — she’s opened for The Rolling Stones — but local blues fans remember her first performances here, when she was still a teen. She’ll give the first-day crowd an inspiring send-off.

By Dagney C. Ernest in The Republican Journal, before Shemekia’s performance at the 24th North Atlantic Blues Festival in Rockland, Maine, on Saturday, July 15.

Read the full story in The Republican Journal. 

“The reigning
queen of the blues”

“Shemekia is really the reigning queen of the blues after Koko Taylor passed away,” Benjamin says. “She keeps her dad’s legacy going by doing one of his songs at every show and dedicating it to him.”

By Paul Benjamin, “the man behind the North Atlantic Blues Festival,” quoted in The Main Edge, before Shemekia’s performance at the North Atlantic Blues Festival, this Saturday, July 15, in Rockland, Maine.

Read the full story in The Main Edge

Chicago Tribune:
“A baby and the blues”

Captured from the Chicago Tribune video

Captured from the Chicago Tribune video

Shemekia Copeland steps to the lip of the stage and lets forth a cry that could carry for miles.

As she snarls and hisses the lyrics to “Ghetto Child,” the audience — numbering in the thousands at the Blues on the Fox festival in Aurora — roars its approval. […]

Copeland has been igniting this anthem by her father, blues great Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, since she was a teenager, and on this June night, as always, it proves the high point of her show and her art.

But nearly two decades after her stunning recording debut, “Turn the Heat Up” (1998) which featured “Ghetto Child” as its centerpiece, Copeland stands not as an 18-year-old prodigy startling listeners with the sheer power of her instrument, but as a 38-year-old new mom out to change the world. Or at least try to repair it as much as she can.

In a detailed feature, Chicago Tribune’s music specialist Howard Reich writes about Shemekia’s show at the Blues on the Fox festival in Aurora, her motherhood in this world she tries to change with her music, her little boy Johnny Lee Copeland-Schultz who at six months old has already been to 22 states, her own birth 38 years ago, her father Johnny Copeland and her mother Sandra Lynn Copeland, the first time she met Alligator Records’ Bruce Iglauer, her lyrics.

Read the full story, with photos and video, on Chicago Tribune.

Live for Tom Marker’s Blues Breakers Blues Fest Broadcast

We had so much fun yesterday at the WXRT Blues Breakers Blues Fest Broadcast at Buddy Guy’s Legends! Thank you to all who showed up and to all who tuned in. We couldn’t have done it without help from our sponsor, Blues On The Fox. We’re already looking very much forward to their festival next weekend in Aurora with Mavis Staples, Shemekia Copeland, Jonny Lang, Elvin Bishop, Guy King and Nicholas David. Blues Breakers friend Marci Gross snapped some photos of yesterday’s show that give an idea of how much fun we all had. It’s Chicago Blues Fest Weekend! See you out there!

By Tom Marker, who hosted the Blues Breakers Blues Fest, broadcasted live from Buddy Guy’s Legends on WXRT. The story is called: “Thank You Shemekia, Toronzo, Ronnie, Buddy Guy’s Legends, & Blues On The Fox.”

Read the full story on WXRT.

The broadcast can be watched on Facebook:

“The potential to convert
a new generation”

Shemekia Copeland had an interesting response when asked if she ever considered adapting her musical style to reach a wider audience. “I’d rather drink muddy water than sell my soul to the devil,” the Chicago-based blues singer said in an interview with Argus Leader Media. […]

Copeland’s work has the potential to convert a new generation of music lovers to the blues. The best way to describe her style is contemporary blues, specializing in authentic soul tunes with a twist.

By Alexia Giebink, in Argus Leader, before Shemekia’s performance this Thursday, May 25, at The Orpheum in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 

“You never know
where she’s liable to go”

Grammy-nominated Shemekia Copeland is that special brand of blues singer who creates moments out of notes, stories out of rock bottom, and company from strangers. […]

The beauty of Copeland’s voice is that you never know where she’s liable to go. This is a singer who refuses to follow the same grooves of those before her. Even on rainy-day tunes, she finds the light at the end of the tunnel, stripping the cloying residuals of cover copies to carve her own vision (witness her rockin’ blues thunder at the 2016 “Blues Cazorla” festival).

By Carol Banks Weber on AXS, before Shemekia’s performances at Jazz Alley in Seattle, from this Thursday, May 18, to Sunday, May 21.

Read the full story… 

Mountain Stage with Shemekia on over 200 NPR stations

Photo Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

Photo Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

A voice that’s part Memphis, part Chicago and all woman,” Shemekia Copeland returns to the Mountain Stage with a fiery performance of “The Battle is Over (But the War Goes On). Catch it on over 200 NPR stations during this week’s all-new Mountain Stage broadcast.

By Joni on WV Public Broadcasting. Read the full story, and listen to The Battle is Over, which was recorded in Marietta, Ohio, on April 9.

Find out the full playlist, and all the affiliates. The podcast will be available on Friday May 12, on Mountain Stage.

In an “all-star line up”
in Nashville

Shemekia Copeland with Hal Cato, CEO of Thistle Farms, Amanda Shires, Becca Stevens, founder of Thistle Farms, Reba McEntire, John Prine, and Jason Isbell – Photo Rick Diamond

Reba McEntire, Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Shemekia Copeland and special guest John Prine descended on the Ryman Auditorium Wednesday night, May 3rd, to mark the momentous milestone of the 20th Anniversary of Thistle Farms. The evening featured rousing collaborations between the all-star lineup, punctuated by the inspirational testimonials of the women of Thistle Farms, survivors of addiction, prostitution and trafficking.

In a story about the fundraiser for Thistle Farms, at the Ryman, in Nashville, published by The Country Note. Read the full story…