Over an hour of music--16 tracks from Shemekia's four Alligator releases. These are the songs that won her acclaim as the premier female blues and R&B singer of her generation. From hard blues to intense soul ballads to riproaring rockers, this is the powerful, soulful voice that has led her to headline blues fesetival and clubs the world over. "Her voice is an undeniable force. From smoldering blues-rock to powerful slow-burning soul, Copeland is an artist who can do it all. Deluxe Edition is an essential introduction for anyone unfamiliar with her body of work" - LIVING BLUES
Guitar: Jimmy Vivino (1, 5, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16; solos on 5, 9, 10, 15, 16) Arthur Neilson (2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 13; solos on...
Shemekia Copeland, Vocals With
Guitar: Jimmy Vivino (1, 5, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16; solos on 5, 9, 10, 15, 16) Arthur Neilson (2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 13; solos on 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 13) Hugh McCracken (2, 4, 7, 8) Mike Welch (3) Steve Cropper (6, 12, 14) Bob Britt (6, 12, 14; solo on 12) Reggie Wooten (6)
Keyboards: Brian Mitchell, Piano and Organ (1, 3, 5, 9, 11, 15, 16) Dr. John, Piano (2, 4, 7, 8), Organ (2, 4, 8) Carl Marsh, Organ (6) Jason Ladanye, Organ (8), Piano (13) Chuck Leavell, Keyboards (12, 14) Felix Cavaliere, Organ (14)
Bass: Michael Merritt (1, 3, 5, 9, 11, 15, 16) David Barard (2, 4, 7) Shake Anderson (6) Jason Langley (8, 13) David Santos (12, 14)
Drums: James Wormworth (1, 5, 9, 11, 15, 16) Herman Ernest (2, 4, 7, 8) Barry Harrison (3, 13) Chester Thompson (6) Steve Potts (12, 14)
Percussion: Fred Walcott (5, 9) David Barard (4) Herman Ernest (4, 7, 8) Tom Roady (12) "Fingers” Hahn (13)
Harmonica:Sugar Blue (5)
Horns: The Uptown Horns (Crispin Cioe, Alto & Baritone Sax; Larry Etkin, Trumpet; Arno Hecht, Tenor Sax; Robert Funk, Trombone) (1, 15)
Horns arranged by Jim Horn (Jim Horn, Alto, Tenor and Baritone Sax; Harvey Thompson, Tenor Sax; Charles Rose, Trombone; Steve Patric, Trumpet) (6, 12, 14)
Original horn arrangements by Joe Hudson (12, 14)
Background Vocals: David Barard and Herman Ernest (2) Mark Williams and N’nandi Bryant (6, 12)
Tracks 1, 3, 5, 9, 10, 11, 14 & 16 produced by Bruce Iglauer, Jimmy Vivino and John Hahn and engineered and mixed by Jay Newland. Track 3 co-produced by John Snyder. Tracks 2, 4, 7 & 8 produced by Dr. John and engineered and mixed by Ray Bardani. Tracks 6, 12 & 14 produced by Steve Cropper, recorded by Eddie Gore and mixed by Eddie Gore and Steve Cropper. Track 13 produced by John Hahn and recorded and mixed by Joe Johnson. Tracks 1, 5, 9, 10, 15 & 16 recorded at Sorcerer Sound, New York, NY. Track 3 recorded at Big House Recorders, New York, NY. Tracks 2, 4, 7 & 8 recorded at The Hit Factory, Sorcerer Sound and Mirror Image Recorders, New York, NY and mixed at Mirror Image Recorders. Tracks 6, 12 & 14 recorded and mixed at Insomnia Studios, Nashville, TN. Track 13 recorded and mixed at Studio 900, New York, NY. Tracks 1, 3, 4 & 16 mixed at Sorcerer Sound, New York, NY. Tracks 5, 9, 10 & 11 mixed at BMG Studios, New York, NY.
Assistant engineers: Don Milazzo, Tim Ronaghan, Dick Kondas, Gael Guilare and Dave Buchter.
Remastered for the Deluxe Edition at The Boiler Room, Chicago, IL by Collin Jordan and Bruce Iglauer.
Deluxe Edition series produced by Bob DePugh and Bruce Iglauer. Design production by Kevin Niemiec. Deluxe Edition series design by David Forte. Cover photo by Leo Lusing-Hauert. Back cover photo by Joe Rosen. Back book photo by Larry Busacca. Tray photo by Suzanne Foschino. Alligator logo designed by Michael Trossman.
Special thanks to John Hahn, Buddy Fox, Jimmy Vivino, Dr. John and Steve Cropper.
Shemekia Copeland—HEIR APPARENT
She sings straight from the soul. Even as a teen, she delivered her songs with an amazing intensity and maturity. Now she has grown up to be the finest, most-acclaimed female blues and R&B singer of her generation. With a performing and recording career that spans 15 years (and she is only 31!), she’s electrified audiences around the world. Shemekia Copeland has truly made a lifetime mark in a few short years.
Inspired by her late father, Grammy-winning Texas bluesman Johnny Clyde Copeland, Shemekia first performed at the age of eight. She was on the road and on the stage with him at the tender age of 16. It was her father’s deep blues roots, combined with her experience growing up in the tough streets of Harlem, that brings such power and emotion to her music. “My dad knew ever since I was a baby,” she says. “He just knew I was gonna be a singer.” But she denied it. Then, when Johnny was diagnosed with heart problems and eventually had to have a heart pump implanted, she received the calling. “It was like a switch went off in my head,” recalls Shemekia, “and I wanted to sing. It became a want and a need. I had to do it.”
Sing she did, opening shows for her father and discovering her huge voice and amazing control, as well as a sense of swaggering self-confidence that very much echoed her father’s. Soon she was doing her own local gigs while still attending high school. It was at one of those New York gigs where I first heard her on her own, delivering her songs with all the conviction and deep soul of an adult, pulling her rapt audience into each song. She was only 17 when she first went into a recording studio, and that day delivered her earthshaking rendition of her father’s song “Ghetto Child,” which is still one of the climaxes of her live shows.
She burst onto the national scene with her 1998 debut album Turn The Heat Up, which shot her straight to festival headliner status. The title track hit radio hard, two songs appeared in Hollywood films, and she was declared to be “the future of the blues.” Giants like B.B. King, Koko Taylor, Ruth Brown, James Cotton and Mavis Staples sang her praises, and Robert Plant declared her “the next Tina Turner.” With her second Alligator release, the Grammy-nominated Wicked, she won the first of her three national TV appearances. Her next two albums, Talking To Strangers and The Soul Truth, produced by Dr. John, and soul pioneer Steve Cropper respectively, found her giant talent just continuing to grow. She’s opened for The Rolling Stones and won eight Blues Music Awards (and 27 nominations).
Shemekia is constantly on the road. Her career has taken her all across the U.S.A., to Europe, and even to sing for the troops in Iraq. Everywhere she goes, she leaves behind scores of exhilarated fans, bowled over by the sheer power, depth and humor of this young woman with the very grownup soul.