“The ferocity of her delivery”

140114 Shemekia Chicago Tribune

When Chicago blues singer Shemekia Copeland began performing “Ain’t Gonna Be Your Tattoo” in concert, she was startled by the response. The song, which unflinchingly addresses violence against women, inspired more than just applause. After concerts, says Copeland, people queued up to speak to her, to share stories, to find comfort.

Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune’s music columnist, writes a full feature about Shemekia, about the lyrics of her songs, before her performance at Evanston SPACE.

In truth, Copeland already has done plenty with 33 1/3, its tracks bristling with social and political commentary […] None of the “33 1/3” music, however, is more searing than “Ain’t Gonna Be Your Tattoo.” Though Copeland didn’t write the piece – it was penned by John Hahn, her manager, and guitarist Oliver Wood – the message resonates with events Copeland says she has witnessed through friends, which perhaps helps explain the ferocity of her delivery.

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