Music Review: Shemekia Copeland

"When the whole world seems fake, give me something real," Shemekia Copeland pleads on Smoked Ham and Peaches.

The daughter of the late bluesman Johnny Copeland is an antidote to artifice herself: a powerhouse vocalist delivering the truth in the great tradition.

So it goes with America’s Child.

The album was recorded in Nashville with a line-up of Americana stalwarts and includes songwriting and vocal contributions from John Prine and Mary Gauthier.

Copeland is  looking to make  big statements here, and  comes out swinging with Ain’t Got Time for Hate, a snarling, blues-inflected rocker.

That segues into Americans, whose message of inclusiveness is saved from preachiness by a light lyrical and musical touch. 

• Shemekia Copeland. America’s Child. Alligator. 

• ★★★★ (out of five)

— Nick Cristiano/TCA

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