Sunday, August 21, 2005
The Soul Truth
The blues are all right...especially when they're storming so passionately...so sensually...so powerfully...from the body and soul of Ms. Shemekia Copeland.
The daughter of legendary bluesman Johnny Copeland is the real deal. Her new album kicks off with a take-no-prisoners trifecta powerhouse bluesy soul singing at its finest: the aptly-titled leadoff track "Breakin' Out", the unflinching ballad "Poor, Poor Excuse", and the wonderfully rocking and utterly scathing statement on the sorry state of radio, "Who Stole My Radio?" (which, in a better world, would be booming out of radios all over this summer.)
When she follows those gems with "All About You", a pointed and funky kiss-off to an egocentric lover, you're just hooked.
From the sassy self-affirmations of "Uptown Train" and "Givin' Up You" to the swampy black magic of "Honey, Do That Voodoo" to the wistful "Used"(a bittersweet duet with Dobie Gray) Copeland's supple, full-bodied voice is used to dazzling effect (she's a blues shouter who knows when bring it down as well as when to let it rip.) This woman is the real deal.
There are a couple of awkward lyrical patches here and there but those are easily forgiven and quickly forgotten when you're being totally engaged by real heartfelt blues...by real honest-to-Aretha soul music.