“A baby and the blues”
Shemekia Copeland steps to the lip of the stage and lets forth a cry that could carry for miles.
As she snarls and hisses the lyrics to “Ghetto Child,” the audience — numbering in the thousands at the Blues on the Fox festival in Aurora — roars its approval. […]
Copeland has been igniting this anthem by her father, blues great Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, since she was a teenager, and on this June night, as always, it proves the high point of her show and her art.
But nearly two decades after her stunning recording debut, “Turn the Heat Up” (1998) which featured “Ghetto Child” as its centerpiece, Copeland stands not as an 18-year-old prodigy startling listeners with the sheer power of her instrument, but as a 38-year-old new mom out to change the world. Or at least try to repair it as much as she can.
In a detailed feature, Chicago Tribune’s music specialist Howard Reich writes about Shemekia’s show at the Blues on the Fox festival in Aurora, her motherhood in this world she tries to change with her music, her little boy Johnny Lee Copeland-Schultz who at six months old has already been to 22 states, her own birth 38 years ago, her father Johnny Copeland and her mother Sandra Lynn Copeland, the first time she met Alligator Records’ Bruce Iglauer, her lyrics.
Read the full story, with photos and video, on Chicago Tribune.