Beautiful surprise this past Sunday at the Narrows Center Festival in Fall River, Massachussetts. Long-time friend “Monster Mike” Welch sat in with Shemekia.
Jay Miller was there to cover the show for the Taunton Daily Gazette. He caught all the magic of the moment and renders is wonderfully in a great piece entitled “Shemekia Copeland turns up the heat in Fall River show”.
Back in the mid-to-late 1990s, Shemekia Copeland and Lexington’s “Monster Mike” Welch were both teenage blues prodigies, and when they met and played together there was an immediate musical chemistry. It would be fair to say that ground zero for their musical collaborations was the original House of Blues in Harvard Square, which nurtured Welch’s early career, and also frequently booked Copeland’s dad, blues guitar legend Johnny “Clyde” Copeland.
When Copeland made her debut album “Turn the Heat Up” in 1998 on the acclaimed Chicago blues label Alligator Records, Welch was a guest, most notably on the cut “Ghetto Child,” which had been penned by her father.
As the years went by, the two and their careers went their separate ways, but they remained friends. Anyone who’s seen a Copeland show in the last few years knows she usually uses “Ghetto Child” as a showstopping finale, belting out the chorus a capella as she strolls through the inevitably stunned audience. Sunday night at the Narrows Center’s 2015 Fall Music Festival, Copeland brought that song to an even higher plateau, bringing out Welch to join her on a rendition that was utterly transcendent.
Read Jay Miller’s full story in the Taunton Daily Gazette.
In the audience, Joel Barrett recorded the scene and shared it on his MrKtnature channel on YouTube:
A wonderful day indeed.