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“As great a blues album as you will find in 2015”

2015 Shemekia Copeland - Outskirts Of Love 300x300

Outskirts Of Love is about as great a blues album as you will find in 2015. The fact that it comes from Shemekia Copeland, one of the greatest female blues artists in the world, or is released by Alligator Records, the best blues music label in the world, should come as no surprise. […]

And the album even has a great noir cover shot. There is nothing not to like here. Every blues collection should include it. Shemekia dedicates it to B.B. King. But God willing, we will have many more decades of great blues from Shemekia Copeland. And may Alligator keep leading the way.

By Tom Callahan, who gives Outskirts of Love 5 stars on Blurt.

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“Power, authority, nuance, charm”

If you want to hear a raucous blues song or the spirit moving gospel-fueled R&B, head over to Bridge Street Live on Saturday for Shemekia Copeland. She is a unique act. Her voice at times is sultry, assertive or roaring. She brings a wide-open vision of contemporary blues, roots and soul music.

Copeland continues to capture audiences; something she has been doing for her whole career. She delivers the blues with power and authority, and adds nuance and charm. She puts her stamp on the songs she sings. […]

By Domenic Forcella, in The Register Citizen, before Shemekia’s performance at Bridge Street Live in Collinsville, Connecticut, this coming Saturday, October 24.

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“Artistic maturity
and social conscience”

Shemekia Copeland - Photo Jennifer Noble

Shemekia Copeland – Photo Jennifer Noble

Greg Easterling interviewed Shemekia for Chicago Blues Guide. During this very in-depth discussion, they talked about the record business, her songwriting process, her father and much more.

“Blues star Shemekia Copeland returns to home base with a new CD on Alligator that captures her artistic maturity and social conscience,” writes Greg Easterling before giving a brief recap of Shemekia’s achievements. “We had a chance to sit down with the award-winning blues singer before her recent concert at Chicago’s historic Old Town School Of Folk Music, touching on a variety of topics including her new album Outskirts Of Love and Copeland’s return to her original label, Chicago’s homegrown Alligator Records.”

The story is illustrated by several photos by Jennifer Noble, who caught Shemekia at the Chicago Blues Festival several years, at Blues on the Fox in Aurora, Illinois, and even in London, where the photographer now lives. Jennifer Noble also captured Shemekia during a very special moment: when she was crowned at the 2011 Chicago Blues Fest 2011, on stage with Marie Dixon, Rose Reed, and Cookie Taylor, Koko’s daughter.

Shemekia Copeland - Crowned Chicago Blues Fest - Photo Jennifer Noble

Shemekia Copeland crowned Queen of Blues, Chicago Blues Festival, 2011 – Photo Jennifer Noble

Read the full interview on Chicago Blues Guide.

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“She tore the roof off”

With the September release of her eighth album, “Outskirts of Love,” Blues singer Shemekia Copeland wants to be a voice for people who can’t or won’t stand up for themselves. […]

She tore the roof off of South Side’s Club Café during a recent performance of her father’s song “Devil’s Hand.” The audience sat in awe as she belted out the smoke-filled blues tune.

The standing-room-only crowd was treated to a good old time on a Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. Copeland took people to church during “I Feel a Sin Coming On.”

By  Genea L. Webb in “Blues star Shemekia Copeland tackles social injustice” for the New Pittsburgh Courier, after Shemekia’s September 30 performance at the Club Cafe, in Pittsburgh.

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“Poignantly, perfectly steeped”

Shemekia Copeland may have grown up in right smack dab in the middle of the hip hop era, but thanks to her father, her heart — and her music — is steeped in the blues. Poignantly, perfectly steeped.

Copeland, whose new album, Outskirts Of Love, was released in September, has been performing since she was just a kid.

The Harlem native was maybe nine or ten when she joined her father on stage for the first time, she recalled in a telephone interview last week. “It was at the Cotton Club,” said the singer in her warm, deep, raspy voice. Copeland would go on to tour with her father, the famed Texas bluesman who won a Grammy in 1986 for “Showdown,” an album he worked on with Robert Cray and Albert Collins.

Copeland toured regularly with her dad during the last few years of his life (Johnny Copeland, who had a congenital heart defect, died in 1997 during heart surgery) and credits him with preparing her for a life on the road. […]

As we spoke, Copeland, who was a personal thrill to interview, apologized if she seemed to be distracted (she did not.) She was getting ready for her interview with NPR’s Scott Simon she told me, and was putting on make-up as we chatted.

By Nancy Burns-Fusaro, for The Westerly Sun, before Shemekia’s performance at the Knickerbocker Café, in Westerly, Rhode Island, on Friday, October 23.

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“The legacy lingers large”

“There was no question for him,” blues singer Shemekia Copeland recalls of her father, renowned singer and guitarist Johnny Copeland. “I swear, I was in my mother’s arms on the way home from the hospital when he said, ‘She’s going to be a blues singer.’ So there was never any doubt as far as what he believed or, for that matter, anybody else. I was never going to be a psychiatrist or anything.” […]

Though Shemekia Copeland never viewed her talent as a birthright, her father’s legacy nevertheless lingers large. “I am so lucky and blessed that I was born a female and I don’t play guitar, because I have friends who are male, second-generation guitar players like their fathers, and they always get compared in the worst sort of way,” she says. “If you know me and know my father, then you know all the things I’ve stolen from him. My family watches me, and they say, ‘Oh, God. That’s Johnny Copeland!'”

Shemekia was interviewed about her family and musical heritage by Lee Zimmerman, for the New Times, before her performance, this Friday, October 16, at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, Florida.

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“Full of passion and fire”

Blues legend Johnny Copeland passed all his blues chromosomes on to his daughter Shemekia. […] After nine years, she returns [to Alligator] with a very mature and varied album, Outskirts Of Love. […] Everybody is very enthusiastic about her singing skills and achievements! […] Her voice is full of passion and fire, a true successor to the great singer Koko Taylor. […] Five stars!

By Frank Schatorjé, in Blues Magazine (The Netherlands).

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“Shemekia has blues in her blood”

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Shemekia Copeland has blues in her blood: She is the daughter of the late great Texas blues musician Johnny Clyde Copeland, and a lot of her early music sounded like it. Now, at 36, she’s doing things a little differently. Her latest record, Outskirts of Love, carries the weight of her experiences and showcases the growing she’s done since she began recording music as a teenager.

“I’ve lived a lot. I’ve seen a lot. Traveling all around Europe and the world — it really opens your eyes to things, and I wanted to talk about it,” she says. “Whether it’s domestic violence, whether it’s date rape, whether it’s politicians who are completely corrupt, I want to talk about it all.” […]

Shemekia Copeland dropped by NPR’s Washington, D.C. studios to speak with host Scott Simon — and while she was there, she and guitarist Arthur Neilson performed a few songs from the new album.

Listen to the interview here:
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Find the full story on NPR.

“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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