Arts and Entertainment
|There'll be no 'sad' songs for blues vocalist Shemekia Copeland|
|Opening act for Blind Boys show in Rock Hill|
|Published Monday, June 17, 2019 5:17 pm|
|Blues musician Shemekia Copeland performs June 21 at Old Town Amphitheater in Rock Hill, South Carolina, as the opening act for The Blind Boys of Alabama.|
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Shemekia Copeland broke onto the blues scene when she was 18 years old, but has been performing on stage since she was just 8.
The daughter of Blues Hall of Famer Johnny Copeland will be performing at Old Town Amphitheater in Rock Hill, South Carolina, on June 21, opening for Robert Cray and Marc Cohn and The Blind Boys of Alabama.
“I’m just doing a couple songs off of my latest record and having a really good time warming up the crowd for Marc Cohn and The Blind Boys of Alabama and Robert Cray. We’re having a blast,” Copeland said. “They’re all fantastic. Great to work with, you know. It’s a nice vibe being out with these guys. They’re such gentlemen and they’re so warm and welcoming, so that’s what’s made it great.”
Copeland released her latest album, “America’s Child,” in August 2018 after inspiration from the birth of her son, Johnny Lee Copeland. The album comes from taking a closer look at the world and knowing that her son will have a strong foundation from which to take it on.
“I’m always evolving and growing and changing and one of the biggest things to happen in my life so far is having my little guy and the second you have a child you start thinking about the type of world you brought the child into and the things that they will have to endure,” Copeland said. “You know, you’re scared, but you’re also hopeful that things will be better for them than they were for you or certainly not worse.”
Along with the tribute to her son, each Copeland record holds a performance of one of her father’s songs and featured on “America’s Child” is “Promised Myself,” which was part of the album “Flyin’ High,” released in 1992.
“This one was a hard one for me to do because I always thought my father did it the absolute best, but everyone said ‘oh, you’ve got to do this song, you’ve got to do this song,’” said Copeland. “So, I finally did it and I’m glad I did and it’s about relationships, you know, love. I’ve had love, lost it and then found love again, so that’s what it’s about.”
Even with moments of doubt, Copeland has always been sure of what she wanted to do and how deeply she felt it in her bones.
“I was born that way. When I was little, I always felt like I’ve been here before, you know,” said Copeland. “Some people have a difficult time with this life in general, just living day to day and living life and it’s never been difficult for me. I feel like I’ve done it before.”
Copeland owns the fact that she is a blues singer and doesn’t need to spin it a different way to appear as if she doesn’t sing “sad” songs. She gives the genre life when she performs because that’s what it does for her.
“I was born to do this. Second generation and I was born to do this and I love performing, I love the people,” Copeland said. “And I always say if you can move one person in an entire lifetime, if you can change one person’s life, you’re doing something great and I know I’ve done that and I know I’ve done that for more than one person, you know.”
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