Friday, June 1, 2012

Don't miss: Shemekia Copeland at Jazz Alley this weekend

Yes, the skies are gloomy and the air is balmy.  Yes, the rent is due.

But you can't miss one of the best blues vocalists in the biz-ness.  We're talking about Shemekia Copeland, who performs this weekend at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley,

Seattle Gay News first felt the mighty presence of Copeland at the 2003 Bumbershoot Festival, when the acclaimed songwriter-performer was hand-plucked by Bonnie Raitt to join her for a "Tribute to Rhythm & Blues" that also featured another female powerhouse, Ruth Brown.  It was a divine evening, to say the least.

On Copeland's debut album, Turn Up the Heat!, she was preaching to the choir when she wailed on songs like "Has Anybody Seen My Man?", "Salt in My Wounds" and "I Always Get My Man".  Sister, we can relate.

"When a Woman's Had Enough", "It's 2am", "Ghetto Child" and  "Wild, Wild Woman" are a few more gems to flourish from Copeland's professional recording career, nearing a fifteen-year anniversary.  Turn Up the Heat! came out in 1998.

The winner of 7 W.C. Handy Awards and "Queen of the Blues" titleholder, as crowned by the daughter of its predecessor Koko Taylor, Shemekia Copeland will be performing 5 sets this weekend - 7:30pm and 9:30pm tonight and tomorrow night, and one show on Sunday evening at 7:30pm.  Her four-person band is comprised of Arthur Neilson (guitar), Kenneth “Willie” Scandlyn (guitar), Kevin Jenkins (bass) and Morris Roberts Schonhorn (drums).  

Her most recent album of original material was 2009's Never Going Back.  Some of the songs from that release might be played during her Seattle run, though she'll likely pepper her set lists with music from all of her recordings.  

Dimitriou's Jazz Alley is located in downtown Seattle with a fully-operational restaurant and bar.  The venue is intimate and sunken-level, the ambiance is polished and inviting.  Their seasonal menu now features Washington halibut, Columbia River salmon, and Yakima-grown asparagus.  

Shemekia Copeland is not to be ignored this weekend here in Seattle.  This is a woman whose opened for the Rolling Stones, whose shared the stage with B.B. King, whose headlined some of the biggest and baddest blues festivals.  So, come get your blues fix!

Look for a review of Shemekia Copeland in next week's issue of Seattle Gay News (June 8).  Go to for reservations, or call (206) 441-9729. 

No comments: