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.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.