Mercury News: “One of the most creative voices defining the blues today”

Headlining a strong program is the powerhouse singer Shemekia Copeland, daughter of blues great Johnny Copeland and one of the most creative voices defining the blues today. Only 39, she’s been a force for two decades, ever since the release of her stellar 1998 debut “Turn Up the Heat” (Alligator Records).

Inspired by the birth of her son two years ago, her latest Alligator album “America’s Child” earned her five more Blue Music Award nominations, giving her a good shot at adding to her crowded trophy case when the awards ceremony takes place in Memphis, Tennessee, May 9.

She’s up for contemporary blues female artist of the year, album of the year, and song of the year for “Ain’t Got Time for Hate.” Written for Copeland by John Hahn and Will Kimbrough, the tune is a response to the divisiveness roiling the nation and reflects her sense that she needs to weigh in on our current troubles.

“I work with great writers, and these songs are tailor-made for me,” she says. “My manager has known me since I was 8, and we talk every day about the current climate. When I had my little boy, Johnny, I really started thinking about raising a child in this world. That’s how this record came about.”

By Andrew Gilbert, before the Delta Blues Benefit concert Shemekia headlines this Saturday at El Campanil Theatre, in Antioch, California. Read the full story in the Mercury News