Shemekia Copeland To Be Featured On NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday" On October 31

Clotilda's On Fire, Powerful Lead Track From New Album, Uncivil War, Is Centerpiece Of Story On Recently Discovered Slave Ship

This is a masterful record. Finally we have the album that her voice has always deserved.
—Sound Opinions (National radio show hosted by Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis)

Uncivil War is one of the boldest and most persuasive recordings of Copeland’s already distinguished career. Copeland’s incendiary and positively buoyant vocals [are] one of the great instruments in contemporary blues. A triumph.—The Chicago Tribune (Howard Reich)

Copeland possesses a formidable voice that perfectly fits the music. Adventurous and wonderful....A joyful mix of blues, soul and acoustic roots. —The Houston Chronicle (Andrew Dansby)

On October 31, NPR News' Weekend Edition Saturday will air an in-depth story about the recently discovered slave ship Clotilda, featuring multi-Grammy Award nominee Shemekia Copeland and her powerful new song, Clotilda's On Fire. The six-minute piece, by award-winning NPR News national correspondent Debbie Elliott, includes interviews with Copeland, Will Kimbrough (producer and co-writer), and Americana superstar guitarist Jason Isbell, who plays on the recording.

The true, torn-from-history song Clotilda's On Fire -- the lead track from Copeland's celebrated new album, Uncivil War (released on October 23) -- tells the story of the very last slave ship to arrive in America (in Mobile Bay, Alabama) in 1859, 50 years after the slave trade was banned. The ship—burned and sunk by the captain to destroy the evidence—was finally discovered in 2019. The song—featuring Alabama native Isbell playing ferocious blues guitar—is a hair-raising look at living American history delivered with power, tenderness, and jaw-dropping intensity.

Weekend Edition Saturday is heard on NPR member stations across the United States, and around the world on NPR Worldwide.

Uncivil War—recorded in Nashville with award-winning producer and musician Will Kimbrough at the helm—is a career-defining album for Copeland. The topical title track is a courageous plea for unity in a time of disunion. With songs addressing gun violence (Apple Pie And A .45), civil rights (the Staple Singers-esque message song, Walk Until I Ride), lost friends (the Dr. John tribute Dirty Saint), bad love (Junior Parker’s In The Dark) as well as good (Love Song, by her father, legendary bluesman Johnny Clyde Copeland), Uncivil War is far-reaching, soul-searching and timeless. Guests on Uncivil War include legendary guitarist Steve Cropper, Grammy-nominated young guitar star Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, rocker Webb Wilder, rock icon Duane Eddy, mandolin wizard Sam Bush, dobro master Jerry Douglas, and The Orphan Brigade providing background vocals.

American Songwriter said, "Few voices can command a room like Shemekia Copeland's....soulful, passionate, and powerful....She comes in like a tornado, whips you around, and leaves you breathless. Her presence may be soothing [but] her voice can destroy you....unifying messages of connectivity and compassion....Uncivil War is lush and confrontational and demands to be heard."