Shemekia nominated for a Maple Blues Award

Shemekia Copeland – photo Mike White

The 2018 nominees for Canada’s 22nd Maple Blues Awards were just announced. Shemekia Copeland is nominated for B.B. King International Artist of the Year.

Canada’s National Blues Awards Program’s purpose is to “promote blues music across Canada”, and to “recognize outstanding achievement in the field.” Nominees for the Maple Blues Awards were selected by a distinguished panel of some 45 blues experts. Co-chaired by the steering committee consisting of John Valenteyn, Yanick Theriault, Terry Parsons, and Brant Zwicker, the panel includes radio hosts, journalists, and festival organizers regionally distributed across Canada.

The winners in instrumental categories (guitar, harmonica, piano/keyboards, horn, drum, and bass) are determined by the Nominating panel. Winners in all other categories, including B.B. King International Artist of the Year, are selected by blues fans across the country –which means you can vote if you live in Canada. Online voting is open from November 1st, 2018 at 12:01 am Newfoundland Daylight Time, through December 1st, 2018 at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time.

The winners will be announced at the Annual Maple Blues Awards Gala in Toronto, on February 4, 2019, at Koerner Hall, at the Royal Conservatory of Music.

This very special evening is Canada’s national annual celebration of homegrown blues talent. It’s also a night of great music with performances by some of this year’s nominees backed by the all-star Maple Blues Band and hosted by Raoul Bhaneja.

Forbes: “A strong version of her Ain’t Got Time for Hate”

Shemekia Copeland did a strong version of her song, “Ain’t got time for Hate.” (…) The evening had begun with The Band’s “Across the Great Divide” and ended with an all-star jam version of The Band’s classic, “The Weight.” It was a night that was about the music, that rich vein of American song and musical heritage that thanks to these artists, charities like the Americana music Association and the Blues Foundation, and concerts such as this, remains a living art. 

By Tom Teicholz, in Forbes. Read the full review after Shemekia Copeland’s performance, along with John Prine, Lucinda Williams, Lee-Ann Womack, Bob Weir, Joe Louis Walker, Slash, and Tal Wikenfeld, during Across the Great Divide, a benefit concert for both the Americana Music Association and The Blues Foundation, which took place in September in Los Angeles. Read the full review in Forbes

Shemekia featured
on BBC Radio 2

Shemekia Copeland appeared on The Cerys Matthews Blues Show on BBC Radio 2 on Monday, October 29th.  She discussed recording with John Prine, Rhiannon Giddens and Emmy Lou Harris on her new album, America’s Child, “which blends blues with, soul, Americana, folk, and rock,” and talked about Queen of the Blues Koko Taylor, her father Johnny Copeland, her first time on stage at 9 years old and more. Also two songs were featured from the album.

Listen to the entire interview:


  • Cerys intro at 17:40
  • “Great Rain” by Shemekia Copeland and John Prine at 18:52
  • Interview with Shemekia, Part 1, at 23:05
  • Johnny Copeland’s “Another Man’s Wife” at 34:26
  • Interview with Shemekia, Part 2, at 39:08
  • “Smoked Ham and Peaches” at 41:10

RedDirtReport: America’s Child “hits hard – musically, lyrically, spiritually”

The new album from contemporary blues singer Shemekia Copeland – aptly titled America’s Child – is a record for its time and place. It hits hard – musically, lyrically, spiritually.  (…) 

With this stunning record, released in August on Chicago-based Alligator Records, Shemekia Copeland appears to be on the cusp of bringing her bold, bluesy sound to a far wider audience. This is a breakthrough album for Copeland and should be in every American’s stocking this Christmas!  (…)

Copeland wastes no time on this Will Kimbrough-produced record (Kimbrough also plays guitar on much of it) by offering up the album opener “Ain’t Got Time For Hate.” It is tuneful-yet-raw. (…) That first song sets the tone for the album. Every time I hear it, I get chills.

I cannot emphasize enough how amazingly good America’s Child is. I am now a serious, serious fan of Copeland’s latest album and will be digging deeper into her whole body of work. I urge you, dear reader, to do that as well.

Andrew W. Griffin gives a 5 star to Shemekia’s America’s Child, which, he writes in the headline, “captures country’s current mood.” Read the full Rusty’s Music review on

The String: “Her showcase was one of the most anticipated at AmericanaFest 2018”

Shemekia Copeland was born to sing, raised by blues royalty. Her dad, Johnny Clyde Copeland, took his Louisiana and Texas roots to the New York City area where he based a career that landed him a Grammy award and a spot in the Blues Hall of Fame. Shemekia sang all her life and by 18 she was on record and on the minds of everyone looking at the next generation of the blues. And she’s won a raft of awards in her genre. Thing is though, she’s a wide ranging artist who wants to see the blues evolve and expand, so in the past few years, she and Americana have found one another in a big way.

She came to Nashville to make her last two albums, calling on Will Kimbrough as a guitar player and writer on both and producer on her latest, America’s Child. That album, released in September, is a pointed political and humanistic statement that features guest turns by Mary Gauthier, John Prine, and Emmylou Harris. Her showcase was one of the most anticipated at AmericanaFest 2018 (…)

Craig Havighurst, for the Episode 70 of his The String show, a playlist by WMOT Roots Radio, interviewed Shemekia Copeland during AmericanaFest in September 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. He released the podcast this past Wednesday.