“An album that speaks
to the times”

150903 NPR First Listen 2

“It’s too soon to tell whether Outskirts Of Love is the end of a trilogy or simply the next chapter in an ongoing saga,” writes Jim Allen on NPR’s First Listen.

All we know for sure is that it’s the third album to find Shemekia Copeland extending her definition of modern blues to include a sort of pan-Americana approach. […]  With crucial contributions from her manager/producer/songwriter John Hahn, Copeland has crafted an album that speaks to the times. A third of the songs are originals co-written by Hahn and guitarist Oliver Wood (of folk-rock band The Wood Brothers), and instead of trudging through blues tropes, Crossbone Beach, Cardboard Box and the title track speak to, for and about working people who sweat their way through modern-day America’s injustices, traps and hypocrisies […]

But Copeland’s genre-melding fluidity would be for naught if she didn’t possess such a powerhouse voice. She brings a perfect balance of authority and understatement to each song, whether it hails from Music City or the Mississippi Hill Country. As long as she’s got that going for her, who cares how the results are labeled?

Read the whole (great) review on NPR’s First Listen. And listen to the whole album!LOGO npr

 

Outskirts of Love is available at Alligator RecordsLOGO Alligator Records

“So super-special”

Shemekia Copeland’s upcoming release on Alligator Records, Outskirts Of Love, receives a stellar 4-star review in MOJO Magazine (issue 263).

150902 Mojo magazine

“It’s Copeland’s voice, part Koko Taylor, part Mavis Staples and capable of incredible expression, that makes this so super-special,” writes Lois Wilson.

Listen to Outskirts of Love
on Billboard

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“Shemekia Copeland isn’t calling her new Outskirts of Love a concept album. But it does have a thematic thread that runs through its 12 blues-and-R&B-infused songs, from the title track to the closing rendition of Jessie Mae Hemphill’s Lord, Help The Poor And Needy,” writes Gary Graff, who interviewed Shemekia for Billboard magazine.

“On this particular record I just think everybody in the (songs) is on the outskirts,” Shemekia told the award-winning music journalist. “Whether they’re homeless or being date-raped or can’t find the right partner in life or looking for justice in some sort of way and they can’t find it, it’s all about people on the outskirts.”

The magazine also premieres the title track which, according to Gary Graff, “reflects the tone” of the album.

Read the full article and listen to Outskirts of Love on Billboard.LOGO billboard

 

“The album of the maturity”

150902 Blues Again

“The album of the maturity for the ‘New Queen of the Blues’, because that is how the City of Chicago officially named her. 36 years old, 20 of which she spent singing the blues, and with such great talent! This Voice opened for the Rolling Stones. Then the Obamas invited her to perform at the White House. What else? Well, this eighth album! Never has Shemekia sounded better.”

This is how Juan Marquez Léon starts his review of Outskirts of Love in Blues Again, a French webzine. The author then describes the songs, before writing his conclusion: “I have to stop my review here. I am afraid my boss will fire me because I am too long. If this album is not chosen as Album of the year, I promise, I swear, I will go and review bananas and lettuces in hell!”

Read the whole review (in French) in Blues Again.LOGO blues again

 

PS: Note the genre the magazine gave to the album: “Shemekia Copeland!”

NPR’s First Listen
to premiere Outskirts of Love

2015 Shemekia Copeland - Outskirts Of Love 300x300

PRESS RELEASE (ALLIGATOR RECORDS) — NPR Music’s influential First Listen will host the premiere of singer Shemekia Copeland’s Outskirts Of Love, beginning Thursday, September 3 and running through the CD’s September 11 release date. Initial radio response has been stellar —the album was the #1 Most Added Triple A Record for the week of August 24 on the FMQB chart.

MOJO magazine says, “It is Copeland’s thrilling voice, part Koko Taylor, part Mavis Staples and capable of incredible expression, that makes Outskirts Of Love so super-special. Spectacular, stirring, sanctified and sassy…at the crossroads where funk meets blues rock. Her band, led by producer Oliver Wood, and featuring guests Billy F Gibbons, Robert Randolph, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Will Kimbrough, is faultless throughout.”

Copeland’s return to Alligator Records with Outskirts Of Love (she recorded four albums for the label from 1998 through 2006) finds her at her most charismatic. She mixes freshly written material with thrilling reinventions of songs originally recorded by Solomon Burke, ZZ Top, Jesse Winchester, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jesse Mae Hemphill and her father, the late Johnny Clyde Copeland. The result is Copeland’s most musically adventurous album of her still-evolving career.

With a voice that is alternately sultry, assertive and roaring, Copeland’s wide-open vision of contemporary blues, Americana, roots and soul music showcases the evolution of a passionate artist with a modern musical and lyrical approach. Whether she’s belting out a raucous blues-rocker, firing up a blistering soul-shouter, bringing the spirit to a gospel-fueled R&B rave-up or digging deep down into a subtle, country-tinged ballad, Shemekia Copeland sounds like no one else.

Copeland has performed thousands of gigs at clubs, festivals and concert halls all over the world and has appeared on national television, NPR, and in newspapers, films and magazines. She is a mainstay on countless commercial and non-commercial radio stations. She’s sung with Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, James Cotton and many others. She opened for The Rolling Stones and entertained U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait. Jeff Beck calls her “f*cking amazing.” Santana says, “She’s incandescent…a diamond.” In 2012, she performed at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama. Afterward, Jagger (with whom she sang) sent her a bottle of champagne.

With Outskirts Of Love and a packed tour schedule, Copeland has her eyes fixed firmly on the future as she continues to break new musical ground. “I want to keep growing, to be innovative,” she says. “I’m a lifer, singing about things that are important to 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,” she continues, “and right now I’m making the most exciting music of my career.”

Read the press release on Alligator Records. Alligator Records

Outskirts of Love to premiere
on NPR’s First Listen

LOGO npr

NPR Music’s influential First Listen will host the premiere of Shemekia’s Outskirts Of Love, beginning Thursday, September 3 and running through the CD’s September 11 release date. Initial radio response has been stellar —the album was the #1 Most Added Triple A Record for the week of August 24 on the FMQB chart.

Mojo magazine says, “It is Copeland’s thrilling voice, part Koko Taylor, part Mavis Staples and capable of incredible expression, that makes Outskirts Of Love so super-special. Spectacular, stirring, sanctified and sassy… at the crossroads where funk meets blues rock. Her band, led by producer Oliver Wood, and featuring guests Billy F Gibbons, Robert Randolph, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Will Kimbrough, is faultless throughout.”

Read Alligator Records’ full press release.

“A landscape of emotions”

“I suppose it’s some combination of her blues pedigree, her age, and her native talent. Shemekia Copeland is blessed with the ability to mix crunching blues-rock, traditional Memphis soul and Chicago blues and come up with something that sounds like today. Outskirts of Love, the new album by the noted blues singer (and daughter of bluesman Johnny Copeland), packs plenty of excitement into a dozen songs over a tight three-quarters of an hour,” starts Jon Sobel on Blogcritics.

“Absorbing and speaking a variety of musical dialects, she lays out a landscape of emotions and smarts –with a wink.”

Read the full review on BlogcriticsLOGO blogcritics

“The woman is a dynamo”

Shemekia Copeland - Photo Mike White / Alligator Records

Shemekia Copeland © Photo Mike White / Alligator Records

“Where once we had Bessie Smith, Ruth Brown, Dinah Washington and Etta James, today we have Shemekia Copeland, a worthy successor to her legendary forebears,” writes Mike Greenblatt, in Classicalite. “There’s something for everyone on these Outskirts […] She proves genre is a dirty word, and interpretation a talent too often overlooked.”

“Despite showing off her considerable pipes here and on an impressive body of work starting in 1998 […], Shemekia should be appreciated best on a stage where her natural ebullience comes to the fore. The woman is a dynamo.”

Read the whole review on ClassicaliteLOGO classicalite

Pre-order your CD on Alligator Records. LOGO Alligator Records

Check the tour schedule.

 

A premiere on Blues Breakers

Shemekia - Outskirts of Love - Blues Breakers

Tonight on Blues Breakers will be the first chance anywhere to hear the brand new album by Shemekia Copeland, Outskirts of Love. Shemekia is crowned blues royalty and has returned to her Chicago based label, Alligator Records, with a new recording to be released on September 11. But you can hear some of it a month early this Monday evening on Blues Breakers.

tom marker

The radio show, hosted by Tom Marker, is broadcasted on 93XRT.

Read more about Tom Marker’s Blues BreakersLOGO wxrt

A fourth Living Blues Award

Living Blues Magazine

The 22nd Annual Living Blues Awards were disclosed on August 8th, 2015. The Readers Poll chose Shemekia as Female Blues Artist of the Year. She had already won the same award in 2012 and in 2006. In 2012, Shemekia had been granted the Most Outstanding Blues Singer Award by the Critics Poll.

Discover all the 2015 Living Blues Award winners.