An interview on WUMB

Shemekia Copeland - WUMB

Shemekia Copeland – WUMB

Holly Harris, host of Spinnin’ The Blues on Boston’s WUMB-FM, chats with Shemekia about her new release, Outskirts Of Love.

“What’s different is I think it’s my most complete album from a conceptional point of view. Everything just seems to fit in together theme-wise from one song to the next. It just flows. I’m back working with Oliver Wood who just seems to know how to get the most out of me. And he and John Hahn have written some of my best songs yet,” she tells Holly Harris.

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“A gritty, frequently dark offering”

Shemekia Copeland at 2015 Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival - Photo BluesPowR Blog

Shemekia Copeland at 2015 Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival – Photo BluesPowR Blog

Having inherited the title following the death of the great Koko Taylor, the reigning “Queen of the Blues” returns to the same label on which her first four albums were released with her latest CD Outskirts of Love, a gritty, frequently dark offering that ranks among the very best we’ve heard from her […]

With its tales of runaway brides, murder, the dangers of the music industry, sin and temptation, and dealing with the devil, there’s of course lots to like on Outskirts of Love. But our favorite songs of the bunch have to be the husky, soulful “I Feel a Sin Coming On” (Solomon Burke), again accented by horns, and aforementioned “Cardboard Box”, a duet with singer and guitarist Alvin Youngblood Hart co-penned by UK bluesman Ian Siegal and that offers such terrific lyrics as “don’t need a door, I don’t need locks, livin’ my life in a cardboard box” and “Now it don’t matter what you own, a little shack or a mansion of stone/ life is rough, it only gets worse/ we all end up in a box, I just got mine first”. […]

If the world wasn’t already calling her the “Queen of the Blues”, it sure would be after hearing this album.

By Mike, on The BluesPowr Blog.

Read the full review on The BluesPowr Blog.

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“Not enough praise”

Shemekia Copeland -

Shemekia Copeland –

Blues is back and better than ever with Shemekia Copeland’s latest album, Outskirts of Love. Released this year on September 11th, the album sees Copeland joining forces once again with producer Oliver Wood. The two made magic with Copeland’s last album, 33 1/3. For those familiar with Copeland’s previous works we know this may be a huge admission, but we’re calling Outskirts of Love Copeland’s best work yet. It’s also one of the best blues albums we’ve heard in a really long time. […] There is no restraint from Copeland on this album. Her deep voice is effecting on every track.

Overall, there’s not enough praise to give this album, nor enough stars.

Kira McLeod, on, talking about “Ear Candy”.

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“Hopefully a win this time”

Shemekia Copeland is arguably the top female blues singer in the world today and the release of her latest album should be a major event […]

Outskirts of Love continues Copeland’s story in a compelling way as she continues to spotlight a variety of contemporary issues, staying open to musical experimentation while still operating under the umbrella of the blues. It’s worthy of another Grammy nomination and hopefully a win this time.

By Greg Easterling for Chicago Blues Guide.

Greg Easterling also holds down the 12 midnight – 5 a.m. shift on WDRV (97.1 FM). He also hosts American Backroads on WDCB (90.9 FM) Thursdays at 9 p.m.

Read the full and detailed review on Chicago Blues Guide.

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“A fiery, expressive singer”

06 Shemekia Copeland © Photo Marilyn Stringer - small

Shemekia Copeland © Photo Marilyn Stringer

Versatile vocalist Shemekia Copeland is a fiery, expressive singer who explores a range of popular genres from contemporary blues and gospel to soul to roots music.

Her new album, “Outskirts of Love,” on Alligator Records, reveals the range of her musical influences. The album features songs written by artists as varied as Solomon Burke and Jesse Winchester, and ZZ Top and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Copeland is a daughter of the late blues guitar legend Johnny Clyde Copeland. Her debut album in 1998 on Alligator stamped her as a blues star in the making. The album, “Turn the Heat Up,” drew critical acclaim, while her live appearances won her a dedicated audience that continues to grow.

By Jim Carroll, in The State Journal, before Shemekia’s show at the Grand Theater in Frankfort, Kentucky, on Tuesday, September 29.

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“Older and bolder”

New albums have become more than record releases to Shemekia Copeland — they’re new forums for her to speak her mind and spark change.

“I think I keep getting bolder and bolder in what I have to say,” she said from her home in Chicago. “I’m so confident talking about issues and things these days. And I like that.”

“I think it’s important what you put out there in the universe, and how you use your voice to speak and say things,” the 36-year-old said. “That’s becoming more and more important to me as I get older.”

“Shemekia Copeland gets ‘older and bolder’ with new album release” is the headline of the feature written by David Burke in Go&Do, the entertainment section of the Quad-Cities Times before Shemekia’s performance on Wednesday, September 23, at the Redstone Room in Davenport, Iowa.

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“Expanded into multifaceted affairs”

A few years back, AmericanaFest hosted a panel on blues music’s place in the genre, which is no simple topic. Shemekia Copeland is the rare artist who makes drawing roots and blues crowds together look easy. As the daughter of guitarist Johnny Copeland, she arrived with a strong Texas, 12-bar pedigree and brassy vocal authority, but she’s consciously expanded her last three albums — including her latest, Outskirts of Love — into multifaceted affairs. This time around, she wove in sharp social consciousness, detailed narrative, reinvigorated throwbacks, down-home heat, uptown cool and plenty more.

By Jewly Hight in “34 can’t-miss artists and events to catch at AmericanaFest”, published by Nashville Scene, before Shemekia’s performance at Music City Roots for AmericanaFest.

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“A heck of a passionate person”

“Shemekia Copeland is a heck of a passionate person, whether or not she’s singing on stage. She’s got a big voice and big dreams.” This is how  Jonathan Turner starts his feature about Shemekia in QCOnline before her performance on Wednesday, September 23, at the Redstone Room in Davenport, Iowa.

“If you have a voice, people listening to you, you should use that in a positive way,” Ms. Copeland said in a recent interview, ahead of next week’s appearance in Davenport. “What you put out into the universe, you never know who you may help or uplift. This is what I’m here for — I found my purpose.”

Read the full article in QCOnlineLOGO QCOnline


“A wonderful album”


“This is a wonderful album, with hints of country, rock ‘n’ roll and gospel amongst the blues,” writes Ricky Flake in the Sun Herald, giving Shemekia’s Outskirts Of Love HHHH 1/2, the best rating in the author’s review of the week.

“There are tons of cool covers by folks as far-ranging as CCR, ZZ Top and Jesse Winchester,” he adds. “My favorites are the title song, the forthright Cardboard Box, the hilarious Drivin’ Out of Nashville, Winchester’s Isn’t That So, and John Fogerty’s Long As I Can See The Light.”

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“Utterly transcendent”

Beautiful surprise this past Sunday at the Narrows Center Festival in Fall River, Massachussetts. Long-time friend “Monster Mike” Welch sat in with Shemekia.

Jay Miller was there to cover the show for the Taunton Daily Gazette. He caught all the magic of the moment and renders is wonderfully in a great piece entitled “Shemekia Copeland turns up the heat in Fall River show”.

Back in the mid-to-late 1990s, Shemekia Copeland and Lexington’s “Monster Mike” Welch were both teenage blues prodigies, and when they met and played together there was an immediate musical chemistry. It would be fair to say that ground zero for their musical collaborations was the original House of Blues in Harvard Square, which nurtured Welch’s early career, and also frequently booked Copeland’s dad, blues guitar legend Johnny “Clyde” Copeland.

When Copeland made her debut album “Turn the Heat Up” in 1998 on the acclaimed Chicago blues label Alligator Records, Welch was a guest, most notably on the cut “Ghetto Child,” which had been penned by her father.

As the years went by, the two and their careers went their separate ways, but they remained friends. Anyone who’s seen a Copeland show in the last few years knows she usually uses “Ghetto Child” as a showstopping finale, belting out the chorus a capella as she strolls through the inevitably stunned audience. Sunday night at the Narrows Center’s 2015 Fall Music Festival, Copeland brought that song to an even higher plateau, bringing out Welch to join her on a rendition that was utterly transcendent.

Read Jay Miller’s full story in the Taunton Daily GazetteLOGO taunton daily gazette


In the audience, Joel Barrett recorded the scene and shared it on his MrKtnature channel on YouTube:

A wonderful day indeed.

Mike Welch and Shemekia selfie

Mike Welch and Shemekia selfie