Sunday, Sep 23, 2018
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WEEKENDER I SOUNDS

Shemekia Copeland adds to repertoire

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    Singer-songwriter Shemekia Copeland performs at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

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    Shemekia Copeland's 'America's Child.'

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AMERICA’S CHILD

Shemekia Copeland (Alligator Records)

Shemekia Copeland has always been a powerhouse blues singer. But on America’s Child, she adds some Americana, rock, pop, soul, and even a little country to her bread-and-butter, down-home and gritty Chicago blues style for a heartfelt, passionate disc that’s another rousing success but for different reasons. 

The title track is an inspirational anthem to diversity and what it’s like to be American in 2018. She vocalizes her unwavering commitment to love in the opening number, “Ain’t Got Time for Hate,” and covers a Kinks song before closing with a lullaby. Guests include John Prine and Emmylou Harris. 

Copeland is the daughter of the late Johnny Copeland, who — on a personal note — was one of my favorite blues guitarists. Copeland has sung with Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, and James Cotton, to name a few. She’s performed at the White House with B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Buddy Guy, Trombone Shorty, and others, has opened for the Rolling Stones, and won handfuls of major blues awards. 

Recorded in Nashville, this disc offers new insight into her enormous talents.

Contact Tom Henry at thenry@theblade.com, 419-724-6079, or via Twitter @ecowriterohio.

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