Shemekia Copeland

Back in 1998, when she arrived on the national blues scene, Shemekia Copeland was promoted as a chip off the old block -- that block being her father, famed bluesman Johnny Copeland, who had died the previous year after a long, very public struggle with heart disease. Since then, however, she's established herself as a performer worthy of respect for her talent, and not just her lineage. Copeland has a distinctively fiery vocal style that suits a variety of genres, including the brand of R&B that dominates 2005's The Soul Truth. Produced by guitarist Steve Cropper -- who wrote songs with Otis Redding long before appearing in The Blues Brothers -- the disc features great playing by the likes of veterans Felix Cavaliere, Chuck Leavell and Cropper himself. And if Copeland has a tendency to oversing at times (she's a bit too in love with her goblet-shattering vibrato), she finds the right balance on "Used," a duet with Dobie Gray, and "Something Heavy," which marks her as much more than Daddy's little girl.


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