Glide: “By far the most courageous, purposeful statement”

Nashville, Will Kimbrough, Mary Gauthier, John Prine and Emmylou Harris all suggest that this must be an Americana record, right?  Yes and no. Genre is not important to Shemekia Copeland, today’s foremost contemporary female blues singer. After all, this is the fourth consecutive album she’s made in Music City, three with Oliver Wood producing and now with Will Kimbrough at the helm.

What is important to Copeland are good songs and stellar players. America’s Child has all of those plus a newfound fiery inspiration and the deep, from-the-gut vocals that define her singular style.  Make no mistake – Copeland is a blues singer, first and foremost.

Copeland fervently believes each album should make its own statement and that each should be markedly different from the other. (…)

If you’ve been fortunate to have seen Shemekia perform live, you know she never phones it in. She never holds back her passion.  And, this is by far the most courageous, purposeful statement she’s ever made on a record. (…) “After having a child, I started thinking about the world I brought him into, how it actually is and how I wished it was and all the thing he will have to go through. And to live in this world today, you have to have a strong foundation like I did to make it through. So that’s what ‘America’s child’ means to me. I’m truly grateful to all the artists that joined me on this record –it wasn’t about the genre for anyone, it was about the music and mutual love and respect.” (…)

The album is all about the healing power of music and it covers every emotion from anger to tenderness, to joy and positivity. No other singer could bring intensity to this material as well as Copeland does. She has not only made her strongest album. She has made a career statement that should earn both she and Kimbrough plenty of Grammy nods.

By Jim Hynes, who reviews Shemekia’s new album. “Shemekia Copeland mixes roots with driving blues on politically charged America’s Child,” he writes for Glide Magazine. Read the full review…