Fri 11/8 @ 8PM
Shemekia Copeland hit the music scene just over 20 years ago, detonating like dynamite. Still in her teens, she sang a genre of music that was typically performed by older people for older people: the blues. But on 1998’s Turn Up the Heat, she showed an unusually seasoned approach for a 19-year-old, undoubtedly in part because she’d already earned her road miles touring with her father, blues guitar great Johnny Copeland, as his health declined. He died the year before she made her debut.
She’s released eight albums since then, including last year’s America’s Child, and this former teen prodigy is now 40, definitely old enough to sing the blues. She’s also expanded her musical ambitions. While her big voice is still drenched in bluesy intonations, she draws on soul, rock, country and Americana as well. Guests on the album include artists as diverse as veteran folksinger John Prine, country artist Emmylou Harris, legendary steel guitarist Al Perkins and Rhiannon Giddens old old-time traditional band Carolina Chocolate Drops.
“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,” she says, of her son’s 2016 birth. “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.”
Copeland will be performing at the Music Box Supper Club, where Cleveland’s Sam Hooper Group will open.
Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.