“Shemekia makes it the blues”

Copeland learned all about quality control at the feet of her father, a soul-drenched guitarist and singer who born in Louisiana and came of age on the Houston scene inspired by T-Bone Walker. […]

“What’s being instilled as a child definitely effects you later on,” she says. “Music was always very important to my father, and I watch him write down something, go back and change it, work on it and work on it. I watched that process all my life.”

Copeland’s formidable band features guitarist Willie Scandlyn, bassist Kevin Jenkins, drummer Robin Gould, and lead guitarist Arthur Neilson, who’s been with her since 1998. While she’s self-deprecating about her role as a bandleader (“This is pretty much Arthur’s band and I’m the chick singer,” she says), Copeland is a savvy artist who like her father hasn’t been bounded by stylistic conventions. […]

Whatever she sings, Copeland makes it the blues, and she doesn’t have much time for people who police the music’s borders.

By Andrew Gilbert, in “Shemekia Copeland brings the blues to Berkeley” published on Berkeleyside, before Shemekia’s show this Saturday, January 9th, show at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, California.

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