Telarc International, a leader in blues recording since the early ‘90s, has signed vocalist Shemekia Copeland, who has been a dominant force on the blues scene for more than a decade. Copeland’s Telarc debut, Never Going Back, is due at retail on February 24, 2009.
Copeland has built a rock-solid reputation as a fiery, emotional blues diva in the tradition of past luminaries like Etta James and Koko Taylor. At the same time, she represents a new generation of singers and musicians who continue to propel this innately American music founded in the early 1900s into a new century.
“I’m so excited to be working with Telarc,” says Copeland “I’ve had success in my career, and I’m happy with that, but I want to continue to grow. I’m extremely proud to say I’m a blues singer, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only thing I’m capable of singing, or that’s the only style of music I’m capable of making. This partnership with Telarc is my opportunity to do something new and different.”
Born in Harlem, New York, in 1979, Copeland began singing as a child, and eventually sang onstage with her father, Texas blues guitarist Johnny Copeland. She launched her recording career in 1997 at age 18, and in the years since, she has scored a Grammy nomination as well as five W.C. Handy Awards (now known as the Blues Music Awards). Her resume also includes work with musical titans like Dr. John and Steve Cropper and film giants like Martin Scorsese and Wim Wenders.
“It’s such a pleasure to have Shemekia Copeland join the Telarc roster of blue’s artists,” says Bob Woods, President of Telarc. “In short order, this young woman has established herself as the heir to the legacy of artists like Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and Etta James – while at the same time making it clear she’s ready to move this classical American music into a new generation. Her debut recording with us shows real creativity, flexibility and that gutsy kind of singing that grabs you by the ears. You just can’t help but want to listen.”