Though she is only in her early 30s her voice has the power, depth, and understanding of someone with double that amount of living. There is passion and touch here of a far older and more 'beat upon' singer and person, someone who has experienced much more of life and the troubles that seem to make us into the people who have the experience to be listened to. Her father the late Johnny Clyde Copeland was renown for his Texas blues guitar and soulful singing; he early on recognized and encouraged his daughter's talent. She has been compared to many of the big female voices such as; Etta James, Koko Taylor and Ruth Brown, and the comparisons are valid. She also displays a finesse that can be described as deft and indescribably sensuous; you can feel it at times stroking the flame in the body to delirious heights. Even though she is so young she sits in no backseat to anyone.
Many of the cuts on this disc display her powerful vocals with a full band raging behind her. Though her voice can easily overpower the band (made up of players such as Hugh McCracken, Jimmy Vivino, Chuck Leavell, Dr. John, and Herman Ernest to name but a few of the multitude of players that lend their talents) she doesn't rock the apple cart. It is often when the band shifts to a slower speed that her voice truly breaks out and comes shinning through. When she sings the quieter songs such as Beat Up Guitar or Don't Whisper is when she just takes over the song, when she sings of pain, you feel the pain that is deep inside her that she knows. Don't get me wrong, there is a power and force that can't be denied in songs such as Turn The Heat Up. When that voice of hers kicks into a top gear and shows her to be the true powerhouse that she is, it is truly something else. Then she wheels right around and she turns herself into the saucy mama on the very jazzy, Stay A Little Longer, Santa showing a whole new Shemekia. Deluxe Edition is a disc that will give you the full range of this singer's immense talents, from driving R & B, to straight ahead Blues to Jazz, and Soul. She is young and a complete singer who is only going to get better.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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