Up the Downstair

Being a weeklie podcaste from Madison, Wisconsin featuring several remarkable curiosities therein occurring being a compendium of live music from divers artistes

Show #199: Shemekia Copeland

December 1st, 2009

Once again we have Dave Watts, host of The Blues Cruise on Madison’s WORT, penning the show notes.

sc7 24 09 Show #199: Shemekia Copeland
(Photo by Kevin Heizer.)

I was going to start off my commentary by saying something to the effect that the torch has been passed now that Koko Taylor has died and Shemekia Copeland is now “The Queen of the Blues”. But in listening to this set I realized that perhaps Shemekia is perhaps not just a blues artist.

In an interview I read with her she mentioned that she and Koko were very close. And maybe Koko thought that she would carry the torch. But as I started running down in my mind all of Shemekia’s songs I began to think that pigeonholing her as a blues artist might be wrong. She mostly uses other folks to write her songs. I think she might be a blues based interpreter of this material rather than a “blues artist”. The blues section is where you will find her music at the store but I know she works hard at being an entertainer in a larger sense. When she began she just belted it out; now she takes voice and acting lessons. Her Ipod has Dean Martin and Nancy Wilson on it (though Etta James and Ruth Brown are on there as well). Listen to this set and see what you think.

And circle 2/25/10 if you are in the Madison, WI area as she is scheduled to play the Majestic Theatre. (By the way, Michaela Majoun, the woman who introduces Shemekia, was a volunteer at WORT-FM and hosted our morning show when it was broadcast from Cleveland’s Lunch)

This week’s performance was from the XPoNential Music Festival this past summer in Camden, New Jersey on 24 July.


Sounds Like The Devil
Dirty Water
Breakin’ Out
Salt In My Wounds
Born A Penny
Never Going Back To Memphis
Who Stole My Radio?
Big Brand New Religion

Download show

Shemekia Copeland

I couldn’t find much from this concert on YouTube but here’s a nice video of Copeland doing “Never Going Back to Memphis” last autumn.

Related posts:

  1. The Blues…Emerials…?
  2. Show #182: Remembering Koko Taylor
  3. Show #126: The Queen of the Blues (Koko Taylor)
  4. Show #13: The Making of A Love Supreme (Part 1)
  5. R.I.P. Koko Talyor

Leave a Reply

WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

Powered by WordPress. Theme by Sash Lewis.