A Shemekia Copeland and Alligator Records special on CKCU (Canada)

Ontario, Canada-based CKCU opened its November, 11, Black and Blues show with a Shemekia Copeland special, presenting “blues and soulful tunes over the years on Alligator Records.”

The show featured songs from six of her eight albums: Smoked Ham And Peaches, In The Blood Of The Blues, Great Rain, Would You Take My Blood?, Ain’t Got Time For Hate from America’s Child, Devil’s Hand, Wrapped Up In Love Again from Outskirts Of Love, Ghetto Child, I Always Get My Man from Turn The Heat Up, It’s 2 a.m. from Wicked, Livin’ On Love from Talking To Strangers, and Breakin’ Out from The Soul Truth

The Black and Blues show, hosted by John Tackaberry and airing every Sunday from 9 pm to 11 pm, presents, “blues, rhythm and blues with some sixties soul.” Listen to the show on CKCU

Tampa Bay Creative Loafing: “Especially poignant”

Shemekia Copeland’s new album, America’s Child, features a lot of the no-holds-barred attitude that so much of the 39-year-old blues singer’s 30-year discography possesses, but something about the 12-track effort feels especially poignant.

Copeland told CL that she always wishes she could ask her father —the late, great Texas blues great Johnny Copeland, who died in his 50s— about things like the rapidly changing music industry and the state of the world, but she also said that much of her purpose in music is to complete a lot of Dad’s unfinished business. 

“I’ve never said that before, but I truly believe that his work wasn’t quite finished,” Copeland said before a quick run through Germany. “It was like he left me here to finish it.”

We spoke with her about the thought of performing for Trump, traveling and more. 

Ray Roa interview Shemekia Copeland before her performance on November 11 at The Attic at Rock Brothers Brewing in Tampa, Florida. An interview in which she talks about “finishing dad’s work, not performing for Trump and more.”

Read the full interview on Tampa Bay Creative Loafing

Tampa Bay Newspapers: “A courageous and fiery statement of purpose”

Copeland recently released “America’s Child.” Produced by Americana Instrumentalist of the Year winner Will Kimbrough and recorded in Nashville, the album is a courageous and fiery statement of purpose, a major step forward for the singer whose musical consciousness continues to expand as her star continues to rise. (…) 

“America’s Child” is by far Copeland’s most compelling work yet, with music swelling beyond blues and into spirited Americana, with elements of rock, soul, and country. Her instantly recognizable voice – capable of being sultry, assertive and roaring – delivers every song with unparalleled honesty and passion. The three-time Grammy nominee’s wide-open vision of contemporary Americana roots and soul music showcases the evolution of a passionate artist with an up-to-the-minute musical and lyrical approach. (…) 

On Tampa Bay Newspapers, before Shemekia’s live performance at The Attic at Rock Brothers, in Tampa, Florida, on November 11.

Read the full story.

Blues Blast Magazine: “Distinctive performances that come from the heart”

(…) Tracks like the razor-sharp “In The Blood Of The Blues” confirm that Copeland remains a first-rate blues singer. Even more impressive is “Promised Myself,” done as a tribute to her father, Johnny Clyde Copeland. She keeps her emotions under control, using meticulous phrasing to convey the heartache in his original tune. Lead guitar on the track is handled by the another legend, Steve Cropper.

The singer is not afraid to share her thoughts on the state of modern society. The twin guitar attack of Kimbrough and Al Perkins on pedal steel guitar create a gut-wrenching backdrop on “Ain’t Got Time For Hate,” a steadfast pleas for understanding across the land. Another standout track is “Would You Take My Blood,” with Copeland breaking things down to the heart of racism, asking, “Would you take my blood, or would you rather die, than share your life with mine?”.  (…) 

Kimbrough creates a number of haunting musical landscapes, and Copeland does the rest, time and again turning in distinctive performances that come from the heart. (…) 

By Mark Thompson. Read the full review in the November 1, 2018 issue of Blues Blast Magazine

Get Ready To Rock: “A contemporary roots album with substance and depth”

Shemekia Copeland’s ‘America’s Child’ is very much an album of our times. The title is an all enveloping concept that leads into a bunch of related, philosophical and at times analytical songs that shift from the micro to macro, suggesting that the cultural diversity to be found in track ‘Americans’ is a cause for celebration, rather than much of the current polarity in the US. 

Copeland is an emotive singer with a fine range who uses her vibrato sparingly. She explores a contemporary take on the blues with Americana, funk and gospel influences, on an album that focuses on lyrical meaning and the quality of songs.

‘America’s Child’ is her 8th album, and casts her as mature interpretative vocalist who though not contributing any songs, effectively curates and brings to life an album that has a social conscience at its core (…) 

‘America’s Child’ is a contemporary roots album with substance and depth. And if you follow the linear thematic trail, dive into the musical sweep and enjoy her passionate attack and emotive phrasing, then it reveals itself as an album with plenty to say as part of a fresh take on the blues

By Pete Feenstra, who gives Shemekia’s America’s Child 4 stars. Read the full review for British magazine Get Ready To Rock

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 RedDirtReport.com