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Shemekia Copeland, voc
Arthur Neilson, g
Kenneth “Willie” Scandlyn, g
Kevin Jenkins, b
Robin Gould, dr

Shemekia Copeland

Shemekia Copeland is a force to be reckoned with in the blues. While still in her 20s, she’s opened for the Rolling Stones, headlined at the Chicago Blues Festival and numerous festivals around the world, scored critics choice awards on both sides of the Atlantic and shared the stage with such luminaries as Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Taj Mahal and John Mayer. Heir to the rich tradition of soul-drenched divas like Ruth Brown, Etta James and Koko Taylor, Copeland’s shot at the eventual title of Queen of the Blues is pretty clear. By some standards, she may already be there. Copeland’s passion for singing, matched with her huge, blast-furnace voice, gives her music a timeless power and a heart-pounding urgency. Her music comes from deep within her soul and from the streets where she grew up. Born in Harlem, New York, in 1979, Copeland actually came to her singing career slowly. Her father, the late Texas blues guitar legend, Johnny Clyde Copeland, recognized his daughter's talent early on. He always encouraged her to sing at home and even brought her on stage to sing at Harlem's famed Cotton Club when she was just eight. At only 19, Shemekia stepped out of her father’s shadow with her 1998 debut recording, “Turn the Heat Up!”, and the critics raved. A year later, she appeared in the Motion Picture “Three To Tango”, while her song “I Always Get My Man”, was featured in the film “Broken Hearts Club”. Her second album, “Wicked”, released in 2000, scored three Handy Awards and a Grammy nomination. Two years later, New Orleans R&B legend Dr. John stepped in to produce her third recording, “Talking To Strangers” (2002). Copeland released “The Soul Truth” in 2005. The album was produced by legendary Stax guitarist Steve Cropper (who also played on the CD), and featured generous doses of blues, funk and Memphis-flavored soul. Her 2009 release “Never Going Back” was a new chapter in the Shemekia Copeland story and represented a crossroads on her ongoing artistic journey. The album “33 1/3” was produced by Oliver Wood and released in 2012 on Telarc. Whether she’s belting out a raucous blues-rocker, firing up a blistering soul-shouter, bringing the spirit to a gospel-fueled R&B rave-up or digging deep down into a subtle, country-tinged ballad, Shemekia Copeland sounds like no one else. With a voice that is alternately sultry, assertive and roaring, Shemekia’s wide-open vision of contemporary blues, roots and soul music showcases the evolution of a passionate artist with a modern musical and lyrical approach.

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