With an extraordinary career that began at the age of 18, vocalist Shemekia Copeland has grown into one of the most talented artists on the roots music scene today.
Her new album, “Uncivil War”, showcases the lyrically adventurous musical territory she has been exploring for over a decade, blending blues, R&B and Americana into a sound that is now uniquely her own.
“Uncivil War”, ” tackles the problems of contemporary American life head-on, with nuance, understanding and a demand for change. It also brings the fire of Copeland’s fiercely independent, sensual R&B to songs that are more personal than political. This album – recorded in Nashville with award-winning producer and musician Will Kimbrough at the helm – defines Copeland’s three-time Grammy-nominated career.
Guests on Uncivil War include Americana superstar Jason Isbell, legendary guitarist Steve Cropper, rising guitar star Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, rocker Webb Wilder, rock icon Duane Eddy, mandolin wizard Sam Bush, dobro master Jerry Douglas and The Orphan Brigade, who provide background vocals.
One of the most powerful songs on “Uncivil War” is “Clotilda’s On Fire”. .
The song – on which Alabama native Jason Isbell plays the fiercest blues guitar of her career – is an eerie look at America’s living history, delivered with strength, tenderness and jaw-dropping intensity. Another standout is the title track, a brave call for unity in a time of disunity.
When Shemekia burst onto the scene with her groundbreaking CD “Turn The Heat Up” on Alligator Records, she immediately became a blues and R&B force to be reckoned with. The media, from the New York Times to CNN, praised Copeland’s talent, her big personality, her dynamic voice. Copeland’s music has evolved with each of her releases. From her debut to 2005’s Shemekia garnered eight blues music awards, Living Blues accolades (including the prestigious 2010 Blues Artist of the Year award) and more accolades from fans, critics and other musicians. “Wicked”, from 2000, received a Grammy nomination. Two successful Telarc releases (including 2012’s Grammy-nominated “33 ⅓”) sealed her reputation as a fearless, soulful singer. When Copeland returned to Alligator Records in 2015 with Grammy-nominated, Blues Music Award-winning “Outskirts Of Love”, she continued to expand her musical vision, fusing blues with more rootsy, Americana sounds.