March 3rd, 2010
Last Thursday it was off to the Majestic to see Shemekia Copeland. It had been just under a year since her last visit to Madison and it was nice to see her back so soon.
As with her show last March at the High Noon Saloon, she drew much of the set from her latest album Never Going Back. And one of the highlights from the show had to be the song from which the album gets its title, “Never Going Back to Memphis”. It burns slowly against a calypso-like beat with some great dynamics giving Copeland ample time to really let it loose and belt it out. Other new songs were the gospel rave-up “Big Brand New Religion” and “Born a Penny”.
But the show wasn’t a complete replica of her last stop here. She relayed to the audience that after her show at the High Noon, someone had told her that she forgot to play “Ghetto Child”. The slow gospel-flavored song is from her very first album Turn Up the Heat and it proved to be one of the standout moments of the night. In the middle of the song she stepped away from the mic to the edge of the stage to sing out the chorus. It was a spine-tingling moment.
We probably won’t see her again for a couple more years but I am certainly looking forward to it.
Madison’s own Cash Box Kings opened. I’m generally ambivalent about them but when Chicago southsider Oscar Wilson joined the band onstage, I became a fan. He adds a grittiness that the band otherwise lacks. They have a new album out now or will be soon which I’m going to have to give a listen.