Shemekia Copeland

While only in her early 30s, two-time Grammy nominee Shemekia Copeland is already a force to be reckoned with in the blues. She’s opened for the Rolling Stones, headlined at the Chicago Blues Festival and numerous festivals around the world, scored critic’s choice awards on both sides of the Atlantic (The New York Times and The Times of London), shared the stage with such luminaries as Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Mick Jagger, and Eric Clapton, and has even performed at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama. Heir to the rich tradition of soul-drenched divas like Ruth Brown, Etta James and Koko Taylor, the singer was presented with Taylor’s crown by her daughter, Cookie, on June 12, 2011 at the Chicago Blues Festival and given the honor of the new “Queen of the Blues” by official proclamation of the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois.

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, surrounded by the everyday sounds of the city – street performers, gospel singers, blasting radios, bands in local parks and so much more.

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 the time, Shemekia’s embarrassment outweighed her desire to sing. But when she was fifteen and her father’s health began to fail, her outlook changed. “It was like a switch went off in my head, and I wanted to sing,” she says. “It became a want and a need. I had to do it.”

Danielia Cotton

Known for her "blaring, guitar-charged, Southern-rooted rock" (New York Times) and raw, powerful voice, Danielia Cotton has stripped it down for a new acoustic release. The "fiery rock vocalist" (American Songwriter) with the "emotional power of Janis Joplin" and "the swagger of Let It Bleed-era Rolling Stones” (Philadelphia Daily News) has released 'Woodstock Sessions' on April 29, 2014

Recorded live at a studio near Cotton's Woodstock home, the album features four tracks from the singer and guitarist's 2012 album 'The Gun In Your Hand,' a new original song "Mountain Church Road," and a cover of Citizen Cope's "Sideways."

'Woodstock Sessions' showcases Cotton's range with sultry blues-rock ("Save Me" and "Deep Dark Love"), anthemic pop ("Lighthouse Keeper"), and gripping ballads ("Sideways" and "Mountain Church Road"). "Mountain Church Road" -- named after the Hopewell, NJ street where she grew up and written to her mother -- reveals Cotton at her most raw and honest with its simple, lamenting refrain: "I don't know why I always let you down, because it feels so bad." The album features longtime collaborator, producer and guitarist Kevin Salem (Mercury Rev, Bad Brains, Lenka, Mike Doughty, Lisa Loeb, Rachel Yamagata), drummer John Clancy, Rob Clores, and Jeff Keithline.

'Woodstock Sessions' marks the start of a new chapter for Cotton, who is currently in the studio preparing a full length album of covers. Cotton has performed alongside Buddy Guy, Etta James, Bon Jovi, Duane Allman, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Little Feat, and The Flaming Lips in the past.



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Shemekia Copeland & Danielia Cotton

Sunday, October 27 · 7:30 PM at Rams Head On Stage