Presented by Cascade Blues Association
“Shemekia Copeland is one of the great blues voices of our time. No one comes close to the sheer firepower that Copeland conjures at will.”– CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“Copeland is a powerhouse, a superstar…she can do no wrong.” – ROLLING STONE
Shemekia Copeland never holds back. Her instantly recognizable voice—capable of being sultry, assertive and roaring—delivers every song with unparalleled honesty and passion. Her 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. With her new Alligator Records album, America’s Child, Copeland confidently announces an electrifying new chapter in her constantly evolving story. Produced by Americana Instrumentalist Of The Year winner Will Kimbrough (who also plays guitar on the album) and recorded in Nashville, America’s Child 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 Copeland’s most compelling work yet, with music swelling beyond blues and into spirited Americana, with elements of rock, soul, and country. With guests including John Prine, Rhiannon Giddens, Mary Gauthier, Emmylou Harris, Steve Cropper, J.D. Wilkes, Al Perkins and members of the Time Jumpers America’s Child bursts with Copeland’s bravado and embraces with her tenderness.
Upon the birth of her son Johnny Lee Copeland-Schultz in 2016, Shemekia, with fresh eyes, began to take an even deeper look at the state of the world. Of the new album, she says, “After having a child, I started thinking about the world I brought him into, how it actually is and how I wished it was and all the things he will have to go through. And to live in this world today, you have to have a strong foundation like I did to make it through. So that’s what ‘America’s child’ means to me.”
When Shemekia broke on the scene at age 18 in 1998 with her groundbreaking Turn The Heat Up she instantly became a blues and R&B force to be reckoned with. With each subsequent release, Copeland’s music has continued to grow, along the way earning 10 Blues Music Awards (including Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year and Album of the Year in 2016); a host of Living Blues Awards (including the prestigious Blues Artist Of The Year in 2010, 2016 and 2017); and four Grammy nominations—all cementing her reputation as a singer who, as NPR’s All Things Considered put it, “embodies the blues with her powerful vocal chops and fearless look at social issues.”
Shemekia has performed thousands of gigs at clubs, and concert halls all over the world and has appeared on national television, NPR, and in newspapers, films and magazines. She’s sung with Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, James Cotton and many others; she opened for The Rolling Stones and entertained U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait. Jeff Beck calls her “amazing.” Santana says, “She’s incandescent…a diamond.” In 2012, she performed with B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Buddy Guy, Trombone Shorty, Gary Clark, Jr. and others at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama.
“When Shemekia Copeland opens her mouth,” says NO DEPRESSION, “everybody pays attention. She pierces your soul. This is how you do it, and nobody does it better ….”