Offbeat Magazine: “A full-scale blues/R&B diva in her prime”

Shemekia Copeland is a full-scale blues/R&B diva in her prime, the inheritor of a tradition that stretches back to Bessie Smith and beyond. In a world of small voices, this is a woman who could fill an auditorium with the power of her singing without amplification. (…) 

Copeland has grown from working through traditional blues and R&B standards to personalized life observations and inspirational statements. On America’s Child she steps up to the plate to address the ills of our fractured society and offer hope for the future in the statement-of-purpose opener “Ain’t Got Time for Hate.” She shows her sensitivity in a spectacular duet with John Prine, “Great Rain,” and once again pays tribute to her father, the great blues vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Johnny Copeland, with a cover of his “Promised Myself” featuring Steve Cropper. The always-unpredictable Shemekia goes well into left field for a powerful rendition of the Ray Davies classic “I’m Not Like Everybody Else,” coining an instant blues classic. At a moment in music history when a lot of people are wondering what happened to the verities of great singers singing great songs, Shemekia shows that we’re still not that far from home. 

By John Swenson. Read the full review in Offbeat Magazine, about Shemekia’s latest album, “America’s Child.”