Chicago Tribune: Shemekia “revs up for new sounds”

Chicago blues singer Shemekia Copeland will bring her powerhouse instrument to SPACE in Evanston on Saturday evening. (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune)

Nearly 15 months ago, life changed in a big way for the mighty Chicago blues singer Shemekia Copeland.

The birth of Johnny Lee Copeland-Schultz — her son with Brian Schultz, Copeland’s partner — understandably changed her perspective on life and, of course, the tone of her art.

That will be apparent in Copeland’s next album, she says of a recording that she completed in February and will release in August.

“It’s a very different record,” says Copeland, who performs Saturday evening at SPACE in Evanston.

What’s so different about it?

“What always has made my records different — what’s going on in my life,” explains Copeland. “Everything gets represented.”

“Having this baby definitely changed things for me, and what kind of world I brought him into, and the things he’s going to have to face. I touch a little bit on divorce, and what it feels like to go through something like that.”

“It’s basically what’s happening with me, and what’s happening in the world.” […]

By Howard Reich, before Shemekia’s performance this Saturday, March 31, at SPACE in Evanston, Illinois. Read the full “Shemekia Copeland revs up for new sounds” story in the Chicago Tribune.