Copeland returns with new CD

Blues Ball at the Samoset

Sep 25, 2012
Shemekia Copeland

Rockport — Shemekia Copeland, who has evolved from teenage upstart to one of the current holder of the title Queen of the Blues as declared and crowned at the 2011 Chicago Blues Festival, will headline the inaugural Blues Ball Friday, Oct. 5 at the Samoset Resort, 220 Warrenton St. Doors will open 7 p.m. and the dancing will begin at 8 p.m. with opening act the F&G Band featuring Sandra Taylor.

Copeland, who first performed for Midcoast blues lovers while still in her teens, has earned her crown with a series of high-quality recordings and an unrelenting tour schedule that has taken her to all the major festivals, from Europe to Iraq. She also delivered a memorable performance at the White House in front of an audience that included the President of the United States, sharing the bill with Buddy Guy, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, B.B. King and other greats. Earlier this year, she participated in two tribute concerts celebrating recently departed great Hubert Sumlin and Robert Johnson’s centennial, both at New York’s Apollo Theater in Harlem, not far from the neighborhood where Copeland spent her childhood.

Copeland has just released a new album, “33 1/3,” featuring songs made popular by Bob Dylan, Sam Cooke and Lucinda Williams; and with a guest appearance by Buddy Guy. She is all about ushering the blues, an art form that stretches back to the early 1900s, into a fast-paced new century, keeping the music true to its roots while making it relevant to a new generation. The album’s title is a nod to Copeland’s past, but also an acknowledgment of where she is right now — she grew up listening to LPs and is 33-and-a-third years old.

Tickets are $25, $200 for a table of 10. There will be a big dance floor, cash bar and the opportunity to dress up as desired. For tickets, call North Atlantic Blues Festival’s Paul Benjamin at 596-6055. For dinner reservations or room rates, call the Samoset at 594-2511.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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