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… 


“Everyone was up
and singing along”

Shemekia Copeland made her Ryman debut showcasing a soulful, bluesy sound. It’s safe to say the Windy City native has a handful of new fans in Music City — everyone was up and singing along by the end of her set.

In Mega Country, after Shemekia’s performanceat the Thistle Farms’ fundraiser, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 3rd, 2017, along with Reba McEntire, John Prine, Jason Isbell, and Amanda Shires. “An evening of inspiring, uplifting music,” writes the magazine.

Photo Kyle Dean Reinford – MegaCountry

“Thistle Farms began in 1997 to help women overcome addiction, trafficking, abuse and other personal battles,” reminds Mega Country. “Two decades later, the nationally recognized non-profit is celebrating the growth of a special community and hundreds of survival stories. Thistle Farms is setting an example for similar organizations around the country and across the globe, with the philosophy that love is the greatest force for change.”

Read the full story on Mega Country

“A stellar handful of songs”
at the fundraiser in Nashville

Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires delivered a stellar handful of songs, as did Chicago blues singer Shemekia Copeland, before longtime Thistle Farms advocate Reba McEntire, backed by an acoustic band, closed the evening. In between performers, graduates and current members of Thistle Farms programs shared their own powerful stories with the audience. […]

In 1997, Becca Stevens founded Thistle Farms to help women survivors of prostitution, trafficking and addiction. Two decades later, the Nashville-based nonprofit is a nationally recognized organization making an impact on women around the globe with its philosophy “love heals.”

By Juli Thanki, after Shemekia’s performance at the fundraiser for Thistle Farms on Wednesday, May 3, at the Ryman in Nashville, Tennessee.

Read the full story in The Tennessean

Shemekia thinking
about her next album

The year 2017 is shaping up as a very memorable year for family in Shemekia Copeland’s life and career. Next month her late father, bluesman Johnny Copeland, will be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis, almost exactly 20 years since his death from heart problems.

At the same time, Shemekia, whose fine 2015 album “Outskirts of Love” earned a Grammy nomination, is still basking in her Blues Music Award as last year’s Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year, and planning her next new album for later this year.

But most important of all, this year has seen the arrival – on Christmas Eve no less – of Johnny Lee Copeland-Schultz, Shemekia’s first child, named after her dad. […]

“I started to think about my next album as soon as I had my baby,” said Copeland, 38. “But I didn’t want to rush into it. I want to take my time. I like to put a lot of thought and care into it, but the next one is definitely being talked about, and we are starting to get ready to record. We are talking about producers, but if I could I’d just work with Oliver Wood forever.”

By Jay N. Miller in a story called “Catching up with blues queen Shemekia Copeland” before Shemekia’s performance as the headliner of the second night, this Saturday, April 29, of the New England Blues Summit, at the Cape Cod Resort and Conference Center in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

Read the full story in The Patriot Ledger.  


“A powerful voice comes with being a Copeland”

Shemekia Copeland is sitting in her Chicago home, conducting a phone interview while holding her 3-month-old son in her arms. Suddenly her son lets out a loud, gleeful sound.

“He’s very vocal. I don’t know where he gets that,” Copeland says.

No mystery there. A powerful voice comes with being a Copeland. It’s a gift he inherited from his mother and one she inherited, along with her talent, from her father, the late Texas bluesman Johnny Copeland.

Joe Burns interviewed Shemekia before her headlining performance at the New England Blues Summit at the Cape Cod Resort in Hyannis, Massachusetts, on Saturday, April 29.

Read the full story and all the details in The Wicked Local

Shemekia Copeland: “Hell, yeah’ God loves the blues”

To start his “Face to Faith,” a new column and podcast, Chicago Sun-Times reporter Robert Herguth invited Shemekia Copeland. Trying to answer to questions like: “What role does religion play in the lives of entertainers, politicians and others in the public eye?” “What’s shaped their faith?”

Shemekia Copeland at the Chicago Blues Fest in Grant Park June 13, 2015 – Photo Brian Jackson / Sun-Times files

Some of Shemekia’s answers:

My mom’s from North Carolina. So summers I would go visit my Grandma Jessie, and my Grandma Jessie was a saved woman. I always tease about it on stage that we went to church 28 days a week when I was down there because, you know, there was something to do with the church every day, bible study on Monday or this on Tuesday. […]

But my father, when I was at home in New York, we would just go to any church. My father was a very spiritual man . . . He just wanted to go and pray. And so I’ve always had faith, and I’ve always been spiritual. But it wasn’t until about two years ago I actually joined a church.

Listen to the interview:

Find the whole story on the Chicago Sun-Times