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

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“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

“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

On Americana Music Show

Calvin Powers interviewed Shemekia for his two-hour long Americana Music Show. #266 is about Shemekia and Outskirts Of Love. “Shemekia plays tracks from Outskirts Of Love and talks about learning the business from her father and listening to country music in Harlem,” he says.


Shemekia Copeland talks about her father Johnny Copeland. She says he was a Texan and a proud Texan, but he left Houston in the 70s because she says there was nothing happening for live music. She says, “Disco came into play and live music wasn’t happening.” So he decided to come up to Harlem. He played local clubs around there. She says Johnny Copeland met her mom at the Top Club. He made records in New York in the 80’s. Shemekia was born in ‘79. She started singing when she was very little. She says the first time her father brought her out on stage, she was 9 or 10 years old at the Cotton Club. Shew was very nervous and didn’t want to do it.

Shemekia Copeland talks about how she met John Hahn because he worked with her father, Johnny Copeland, before he died and since then they’ve been working together since she was very young. She says they talk almost every day and he gets her so well that the songs they write together are tailor-made for her.

Shemekia Copeland sets up “Driving Out Of Nashville.” She says Nashville is for musicians like Los Angeles is for actors. Everybody thinks you show up there and become a star. And that’s not how it happens. This is a story about a girl who “went through some things” in Nashville.

You want to know more about the record, about Shemekia, where it all comes from? Here is the podcast. Enjoy…

You can also go on Americana Music ShowLOGO americana music show

“There is serious gold in them”

It’s a good thing two-time Grammy nominee Shemekia Copeland is such a captivating powerhouse singer. Otherwise, you might need a shower to rinse off the grit contained in her brand new album, “Outskirts of Love.”

The cover image of a motel (with the sign’s neon “O” burned out, of course) and a sign advertising “Adults only; hourly rates,” already warns you that you are not heading to the safe, comfortable  part of town. […]

But there’s serious gold in them there blues. Check her extra-soulful interpretations of ZZ Top’s “Jesus Just Left Chicago” (with Top’s Billy Gibbons on guitar, yet), Creedence Clearwater Revivial’s “Long As I Can See the Light” and Albert King’s “Wrapped up in Love Again.” That last part of the album suggests there’s hope for the seemingly unredeemable. […]

If you haven’t caught Copeland at a past Philadelphia Folk Festival, or this year’s Blast Furnace Blues Festival in Bethlehem, she’ll be in town this week, no doubt itching to share this new batch of songs.

By Brian Bingaman in “Shemekia Copeland explores the blues’ seedier side with Outskirts of Love” on Ticket, before her performance at the Sellersville Theater on Thursday, October 1st.

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“With equal power and finesse”

Shemekia Copeland came to bat swinging for her performance on Sept. 26 in her adopted hometown of Chicago. If the anointed Queen of the Blues had been performing at nearby Wrigley Field instead of the Old Town School of Folk Music, she would have hit a grand slam. […] She has the vocal range to deliver blistering rockers, slow blues numbers and gospel-tinged soul with equal power and finesse.

Copeland began the concert with the title track to Outskirts Of Love, and she concluded it with an encore, “It’s 2 A.M.” (from her 2000 album, Wicked). In between, Copeland dug infinitely deeper with a pair of songs from her 1998 debut album, Turn The Heat Up: “Married To The Blues,” a ballad, was heartrending and powerful, while “Ghetto Child” was spine-tingling and emotionally charged. […]

As a mature performer, Copeland has learned to skillfully segue through musical styles and subject matter. She shifted seamlessly from the r&b number “I Feel A Sin Coming On,” in which she plays the unrepentant temptress, to 2009’s spiritual rouser “Big Brand New Religion,” with the introduction, “I want to take y’all to my Grandma Jessie’s North Carolina church.” The audience was ready to testify, standing as one and clapping as if they were in the front pews.

The singer may have familial roots in the Deep South, but she was actually born and bred in New York City, and her introduction to show business came in the clubs of Harlem. Her vocal inflection is more urbane than most blues singers, giving her a style that appeals to a broad audience —but with no danger of sounding like an interloper.

By Jeff Johnson in DownBeat Magazine.

Read the full review of Shemekia’s show at the Old Town School of Folk Music  in Chicago on DownBeat MagazineLOGO downbeat

“She makes each song
her own personal tale”

Bequeathed with a dynamic and assertive voice, Outskirts Of Love is an affirmation that (Shemekia) has taken the blues into contemporary territory, while maintaining the raw emotion that is demanded of those that dare venture into this expressive and exclusive vocation.

As times have changed, so has the blues. From the title track, with its hard edged guitars, this record finds Copeland accompanied by an innovative group of musicians who take the songs into rock, soul, Americana, and even country, as witnessed by “Drivin’ Out Of Nashville,” which she defines as “blues with a twang.” […]

That she covers such a wide scope of genres on Outskirts Of Love might be cause for alarm in hardcore blues purists, but she has earned the right to sing the blues in any form she likes, as she makes each song her own personal tale. Her stage presence is as inspiring as her recordings, attesting that she can convey the message with a genuine expertise that only someone born into the blues can.

By James Nadal, who gives the album 4 stars on All About Jazz.

Read the full review on All About JazzLOGO All About Jazz

“A sound force that rises up from deep inside”

Shemekia Copeland has a knack for using the stage as a pulpit as she demands attention like a preacher standing in front of those already converted. Her methods shake foundations and rattle the righteous into action. Outskirts of Love, her most recent release, testifies to the ability of Shemekia Copeland to reach right down inside to touch spirits needing a little more saving than platitudes and promises can offer. […]

Outskirts of Love presents Shemekia Copeland wearing audio coats of many colors, guiding each tune with a sound force that rises up from deep inside, pushing limits and coloring outside of the lines as she buries the needle in the red zone.

By Danny, in What’s Trending on The Alternate Root.

Read the full review on The Alternate RootLOGO the alternate root review