Blues great Shemekia Copeland
prepares for new arrival


Copyright Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune 2011

Shemekia Copeland’s life is about to change in a dramatic way.

For after the sublime Chicago singer performs her “Holiday Blues Bash” shows Sunday with guest Ronnie Baker Brooks at City Winery, she’ll step out of the spotlight for bit to give birth to her first child.

“The man of my dreams is coming in January — finally,” she says with a buoyant laugh, as she prepares for the arrival of her son.

“Thirty-seven years I had to wait. It’s the most wonderful experience ever.

“For me, doing what I do and traveling and all that stuff — I thought that being pregnant would not be like the best experience in the world,” she adds.

In the Chicago Tribune, Howard Reich talks about Shemekia expecting her first child, a son, due in January. Shemekia and her band will be performing two sets this coming Sunday at the City Winery in Chicago before she takes a couple of months off.

Copeland comes by her blues values in profound ways. Her father, Johnny Clyde Copeland, earned wide admiration for his imploring vocals, powerhouse guitar playing and insightful songwriting. The Texas bluesman brought his daughter onto the stage when she was 8 years old and took her on tour at 16, in effect launching her career and extending his legacy after his death in 1997, at age 60.

Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that Shemekia Copeland will be naming her son Johnny, a tribute to the man whose gifts clearly carried forth to the next generation.

Read Howard Reich’s full story in the Chicago TribuneLOGO chicago tribune