Shemekia Copeland

Shemekia’s a ball-of-fire vocalist with a voice that’s part Memphis, part Chicago and all woman… devastatingly powerful. She’s a great singer, period.
--Chicago Sun-Times

Shemekia captures the timelessness of the blues while spinning it forward with remarkable maturity.
--USA Today

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. 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. The Chicago Tribune said Copeland delivers "gale force singing and power" with a "unique, gutsy style, vibrant emotional palette and intuitive grasp of the music." NPR Music calls her “fiercely expressive.”

Copeland’s return to Alligator Records with Outskirts Of Love (Sept 2015) finds her at her most charismatic, performing roots rock, Americana, and blues with power and authority, nuance and shading. Produced by The Wood Brothers’ Oliver Wood, Outskirts Of Love is a musical tour-de-force, with Copeland rocking out on the title track, taking charge in Crossbone Beach, honoring her father, the late Johnny Clyde Copeland with her Afrobeat-infused take on his Devil’s Hand, tackling homelessness on Cardboard Box and showing off her country swagger on Drivin’ Out Of Nashville. She puts her stamp on songs made famous by Solomon Burke (I Feel A Sin Coming On), Jesse Winchester (Isn’t That So), Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee (The Battle Is Over), Creedence Clearwater Revival (Long As I Can See The Light), ZZ Top (Jesus Just Left Chicago), Albert King (Wrapped Up In Love Again) and Jessie Mae Hemphill (Lord Help The Poor And Needy). Friends including Billy F Gibbons, Robert Randolph, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Will Kimbrough and Pete Finney all add their talent with unbridled enthusiasm. The result is Copeland’s most decidedly contemporary and musically adventurous album of her still-evolving career.

When Shemekia first appeared on the scene at age 18 in 1998 with her groundbreaking debut CD, Turn The Heat Up, she instantly became a blues superstar. Critics from around the country celebrated her music as fans of all ages agreed that an unstoppable new talent had arrived. News outlets from The New York Times to CNN took note of Copeland's talent, engaging personality, and true star power. She followed up with 2000's Grammy-nominated Wicked, 2002's Talking To Strangers (produced by Dr. John) and 2005’s The Soul Truth (produced by Steve Cropper). In that short period of time, she earned eight Blues Music Awards, a host of Living Blues Awards (including the prestigious 2010 Blues Artist Of The Year) and more accolades from fans, critics and fellow musicians. Two highly successful releases on Telarc (including 2012's Grammy-nominated 33 1/3) cemented her reputation as a singer who, according to NPR's All Things Considered, "embodies the blues with her powerful vocal chops and fearless look at social issues." USA Today says, "Copeland is a singer with fervor and funk, power and range.”

Copeland has performed thousands of gigs at clubs, festivals and concert halls all over the world and has appeared on national television, NPR, and in newspapers, films and magazines. She is a mainstay on countless commercial and non-commercial radio stations. She's sung with Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Mick Jagger, 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 “f*cking amazing.” Santana says, “She’s incandescent…a diamond.” At the 2011 Chicago Blues Festival, the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois officially declared Copeland to be “The New Queen Of The Blues.” In 2012, she performed at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama. Afterward, Jagger (with whom she sang) sent her a bottle of champagne.

With Outskirts Of Love and a packed tour schedule, Copeland has her eyes fixed firmly on the future as she continues to break new musical ground. "I want to keep growing, to be innovative," she says. “I’m a lifer, singing about things that bother me, using my music to help people. My dad always said ‘we’re all connected.’ I’m an old soul marching to the beat of my own drum,” she continues, “And right now I’m making the most exciting music of my career.” music.

Danielia Cotton

“…with blaring, guitar-charged, Southern-rooted rock that links her to Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Black Crowes, Janis Joplin, Aerosmith and the rockier side of Bonnie Raitt. She’s a belter who can hold back or work her way up to a gospelly blues-rock shout, and in the songs she writes with her band’s brawny guitar riffs, she grapples with the road, salvation, holding on and letting go.” – New York Times

Danielia Cotton’s latest release, A Prayer, marks the end of a tumultuous season in Cotton’s life. A season that brought her to her roots and to her knees. Cotton is wrestling with her fears; dragging them out “into the light of day”. She’s raw and real; and completely unfettered. She’s reborn in Afraid to Burn letting go and deciding it’s ok. There is a spiritual element to A Prayer that is unlike anything else we’ve heard from her. Yes, her music has always had a touch of it. It’s at the core of her beginnings both personally and musically, but this is something new. Cotton isn’t hinting at it she is declaring it in your face and placing it at your feet.



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