“Congratulations to my father
Johnny Clyde Copeland”

Congratulations to my father Johnny Clyde Copeland! 20 years after his death he will be inducted into the Blues hall of fame in Memphis tonight! I’m so so sorry I can’t be there.

– Shemekia Copeland

Some pictures of the New England Blues Summit

Adam N. Signore posted some pictures of Shemekia’s performance at the New England Blues Summit on Saturday, April 29, 2017.

His comment: “Shemekia. Really, all you need to know.”

Photo Adam N Signore

Photo Adam N Signore

With Monster Mike Welch – Photo Adam N Signore

Photo Adam N Signore

With Toni Lynn Washington – Photo Adam N Signore

“Congratulation on the new arrival in the family!” – Photo Adam N. Signore

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

Shemekia to perform at
Jimmy V’s NYC Blues Review

Music director and bandleader for The Conan O’ Brien Show Jimmy Vivino and executive producer Greg Williamson bring together some of the finest musicians in New York City and throughout the East Coast to pay tribute to the blues. In Jimmy V’s NYC Blues Revue, which will take place on September 6, 2017, artists will cover songs by legendary bluesmen such as Muddy Waters, BB King, Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf, Albert King, Eric Clapton and many others.

The event will feature William Bell, Shemekia Copeland, John Sebastian, Ruthie Foster, Eric Krasno, Bill Sims, Bob Margolin, Scott Sharrard, Joe Louis Walker, Marcus King, Tash Neal, King Solomon Hicks, Danny Clinch. House band will be composed of Will Lee, Danny Louis, Leon Pendarvis, Shawn Pelton, Jerry Vivino, Erik Lawrence, Earl Gardner.

The Jimmy V’s NYC Blues Revue will take place on September 6, 2017, at B.B. King’s Blues Club & Grill in New York City. Tickets are $49. VIP tickets available. Presale for American Express customers begins on Wednesday May 10 at noon, and general sale on May 12 at noon.

All proceeds from this concert will benefit the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee. The Blues Foundation is Memphis-based, but world-renown as THE organization whose mission is to preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. Founded in 1980, The Blues Foundation has approximately 4,000 individual members and 200 affiliated local blues societies representing another 50,000 fans and professionals around the world. Its signature honors and events —the Blues Music Awards, Blues Hall of Fame, International Blues Challenge and Keeping the Blues Alive Awards— make it the international center of blues music.

Its HART Fund provides the blues community with medical assistance for musicians in need, while Blues in the Schools programs and Generation Blues scholarships expose new generations to blues music. The 2015 opening of the Blues Hall of Fame Museum, in Memphis, Tennessee, now adds the opportunity for music lovers of all ages to interact with the music and the history. Throughout the year, the Foundation staff serves the worldwide blues community with answers, information, and news.

“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

“A powerhouse vocalist
who can pretty much do it all”

“I’m drivin’ out of Nashville with a body in the trunk/Trying to figure out the depths that I have sunk” – it takes an immense amount of pluck to sell a line that far over the top. But leave it to Shemekia Copeland to pull it off with ease on “Drivin’ Out of Nashville,” from her very fine and most recent album “Outskirts of Love” (Alligator Records). The daughter of famed Texas bluesman Johnny Copeland, Shemekia has always come by her blues bonafides honestly as a powerhouse vocalist who can pretty much do it all. Or as she puts it elsewhere in that same song, “Country ain’t nothing but the blues with a twang.” Believe it.

By David Menconi before Shemekia’s performance at the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill’s Memorial Hall.

Read the full story in The News&Observer