Press

“Acclaimed blues vocalist”

Copeland said that while the album examines the experience of the outsider, of the person living on the other side of a traumatic or powerful experience, she herself has just begun a new chapter of her own life, having given birth to her son, Johnny Lee Copeland-Schutlz, on Christmas Eve of last year.

“When I do a record, everything is picked for a reason. On my latest record, it was all about people on the outskirts – whether that’s on the outskirts of love or social injustice,” said Copeland. “I picked the covers on the albums that I did because they reflect the experience of someone once the battle is over.”

Emily Votaw presents “acclaimed blues vocalist Shemekia Copeland” before her appearance “on the first ever live recording of Mountain Stage with Larry Groce at the relatively recently renovated Peoples Bank Theatre in Marietta, Ohio,” along with Bridget Kearney, the T Sisters, John Németh, and Edward David Anderson.

Read the full story about the live event with Larry Groce on Woub Digital.

“She had more than
romance in mind”

Copeland frequently puts her music in support of the less fortunate. In May, she will perform at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville to raise funds for Thistle Farms, a group that aids women with a history of addiction and prostitution.

“I can’t think of a worthier, more important event, I could be part of,” Copeland said of the concert.

Such expressions of concern show empathy on Copeland’s part. At least when it comes to music, she is anything but an outsider.

Bill Nutt talks about Shemekia Copeland and her most recent album “Outskirts of Love,” for which “she had more than romance in mind,” before Shemekia’s performance at the Newton Theatre in Newton, New Jersey, on April 7.

“This album was about people on the outside,” said Copeland. “People on the outskirts of love, on the outskirts of politics.”

Read the full story on the Daily Record

 

“An old soul marching
to the beat of my own drum”

He’s with me every time I step on the stage… I’m a lifer, singing about things that bother me, using my music to help people. My dad always said ‘we’re all connected.’ I’m an old soul marching to the beat of my own drum.

Len Lear interviewed Shemekia Copeland for the Chestnut Hill Local before her performance at the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy on Thursday, April 6.

“The concert is underwritten by the Jamie Bell ’78 Music Fund, an endowed fund at SCH Academy. The fund was started and supported by the family and friends of Jamie Bell, an alumnus of CHA, who died in 2014. He was a beloved, well-known Philadelphia blues guitarist and vocalist,” explains Len Lear.

The journalist asked questions about Shemekia’s late father, Johnny Copeland, who is going to be inducted in the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis in May this year, about her influences (Koko Taylor and Ruth Brown), her ultimate goal in her career (“Keeping the blues alive and relevant for future generations”), and covered many more fields.

Read the full interview in the Chestnut Hill Local

Get tickets for the show at the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.

Check the tour page for more upcoming shows.

“Blues music runs through
Shemekia Copeland’s veins”

“There was no time that my father was sitting without a guitar in his hand, playing music,” she says. “And if he wasn’t playing, we were listening to records. I fell in love with music because that was my childhood – from blues to soul to gospel to country,” says Shemekia Copeland to Tara Hopfenspirger in a detailed story about Shemekia’s career published by NorthJersey.com about “Queen of the Blues: Teaneck native Shemekia Copeland”.

“To say blues music runs through Shemekia Copeland’s veins is an understatement,” reminds the writer before Shemekia’s performance at the Newton Theatre in Newton, New Jersey, on April 7.

Photo: Philippe Noisette/Special to NorthJersey.com

Read the full story on NorthJersey.com

Chicago Voices with Shemekia to air on PBS on March 30

On February 4, 2017, soprano, Renée Fleming, Chicago Voices Creative Director, along with Broadway star Jessie Mueller, jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, pop and gospel singer Michelle Williams, world-renowned tenor Matthew Polenzani, blues Queen Shemekia Copeland, indie-rock duo The Handsome Family, folk legend John Prine, rap artist Lupe Fiasco and the Voices of Trinity Mass Choir, backed by a band and led by Music Director Doug Peck performed together for an unforgettable tribute to and celebration of legendary Chicago vocalists.

Presenters included the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr., TV’s Empire stars, Terrence Howard and Jussie Smollett, and Kate Flannery, of TV’s The Office. The Chicago Voices Concert offered a taste of the vast cultural riches of this great city and paid homage to the powerful Chicago voices of the past, present and future – all while shaking the walls of Lyric’s Civic Opera House. This amazing concert will receive an encore TV broadcast on March 30th at 9PM (CST) via WTTW – Chicago PBS.

NYC: “Lots of family, friends, warmth and love”

Shemekia Copeland with baby Johnny Lee at the Iridium, NYC – © Photo Joseph A. Rosen

 

Shemekia Copeland with baby Johnny Lee at the Iridium, NYC – © Photo Joseph A. Rosen

Last night I had the privilege and BIG FUN of seeing Shemekia Copeland and her band at the Iridium club. It was one of their first shows back after Shemekia gave birth to her son. As always she and the band killed it. But, the real star of the night was definitely 3 month old Johnny Lee. There was lots of family, friends, warmth and love in the house!! It was a very good night. 

By New York photographer Joseph A. Rosen, who attended Shemekia’s show at the Iridium, in NYC, and published some photos on Facebook.

“Wide-open vision of contemporary blues”

The “Queen of the Blues,” is making another visit to Connecticut. […] Shemekia Copeland sounds like no one else, whether she’s belting out a raucous blues-rocker tune, getting front and center while firing up a blistering soul-shouter, or bringing the spirit to a gospel-fueled R&B rave-up or digging deep down into a subtle ballad,. She can use her voice in a number of ways, alternately sultry, assertive or roaring.

Copeland’s wide-open vision of contemporary blues, roots and soul music showcases the evolution of a passionate artist with a modern musical and lyrical approach. She reaches into an audience with her powerful singing. A history in the blues lets her express the history and still add her youthful touch. (Her Father Johnny “Clyde” Copeland will be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis in May.)

By Domenic Forcella in The Register Citizen, before Shemekia’s performance at the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den on Thursday, March 16, in Uncansville, Connecticut.

Read the full story in The Register Citizen.  

“A superstar on stage”
in India

Photo courtesy of Mahindra Blues Festival

Shemekia Copeland left an impact on her previous appearance, six years ago when the audience requested multiple encores from her. We met her before the concert and asked how she felt about singing the blues halfway round the world. “Everyone in the world sings and loves the blues–only they don’t know it,” she said with her beaming smile. Copeland must surely like to sing; she has left behind her six week-old baby, Johnny, at home. Incidentally, Johnny has been named after Copeland’s father Johnny Copeland, a well known blues singer himself. […]

Copeland was a powerhouse at the Mahindra Blues Festival, a superstar on stage and she could do no wrong. For almost 90 minutes she had the huge audience spellbound with her songs […]

Copeland’s performance alone was well worth the price of entry to the festival!

By Sunil Sampat, in RollingStone India, after Shemekia’s performance at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumba, India.

Read the full review in RollingStone India. 

 

“The kind of powerhouse, roaring voice”

Shemekia Copeland wants someone to invite her to an Indian wedding. The kind that has over 1,200 guests and goes on for four days. But that dream will have to wait a few years as this three-time Grammy nominated blues singer from New York leaves town tonight, right after she steps off the stage at Bandra’s Mahindra Blues Festival 2017. And given how much she is pining for the six-week-old son smiling from the wallpaper of her iPhone, the 37-year-old can hardly be persuaded to stay. “He hasn’t even had his shots yet,” says Copeland, now in a Bandra five-star. Just earlier in the day, she sang him his favourite bedtime song via Facetime. Her is the kind of powerhouse, roaring `part-Memphis, part-Chicago’ voice that, besides a bevy of blues awards, has earned Copeland the title of ‘Queen of the Blues’. […]

For Copeland, who performed at the debut edition of the festival in 2011, Mumbai feels different this time. “It’s as if the whole city is waiting for you to perform,” she says.

Copeland will most likely turn up in her favourite colour–black–while vowing audiences with numbers from her acclaimed album `Outskirts of Love’. She is happy to note the equal gender ratio at this festival. “There needs to be more of a presence for us,” says Copeland, who usually finds just one woman singer at blues festivals.

By Sharmila Ganesan Ram, in The Times of India, before Shemekia’s performance at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai, India.

Read the full article in The Times of India. 

“Strong and booming, yet subtle, soulful and even sultry”

“The world in many ways seems to be getting meaner,” says Shemekia Copeland, feminist singer, also known as the ‘Queen of the Blues’. “The poor get poorer. People turn their backs on orphans and refugees. And, of course, corporations continue to destroy mother earth,” adds the three-time Grammy nominee as she gets ready to perform at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai on Sunday. […]

Copeland’s vocals are strong and booming, yet subtle, soulful and even sultry. The artiste, who makes no bones of her overt concern with politics and views her performance before the Obamas at the White House as an unforgettable experience, grew up on a steady diet of blues, gospel and country in a Harlem ghetto.

Shemekia Copeland tells Ornella D’Souza and DNA about her father, her feminist inspirations and the greats who shaped her music, before her performance at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai, India.

Read the full story in DNA.