Elsewhere: “A statement of emotional resilience”
This daughter of famed tough Texas blues singer/guitarist Johnny Copeland pulls in a remarkable supporting cast for this, her eighth album: Steve Cropper, Rhiannon Giddens, John Prine (on his own Great Rain), Mary Gauthier pedal steel player Al Perkins, Emmylou Harris . . .
But of more note –especially in an America so divisive and divided– is her two opening salvos Ain’t Got Time For Hate (the title speaks for itself) and Americans which is a list of diverse people and cultures in the Great Society “free to be you and me”: Everyone from an Elvis impersonator to gays, a Republican contrarian to a Mexican pin-up, a hermaphrodite to a socialite and so on. (…)
It is her choice of songs (…) which unify this into a statement of emotional resilience at a time when many people are as wounded as Paul Simon’s American Tune once articulated: “I don’t know a soul that’s not been battered, I don’t have a friend who feels at ease, I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered or driven to its knees…”.
When Simon sang that in the Nixon era it was ineffably sad, Shemekia Copeland doesn’t go there but rather stands up for herself and the good people she knows to still be out there.
What was the Obama message?