Review: Shemekia Copeland – Deluxe Edition
Posted on: Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011
This sixteen-track album is a compilation of numbers taken from four of Harlem-born Shemekia Copeland’s albums under the aegis of Alligator Records with the added ‘bonus’ of “Stay A Little Longer, Santa” a schmaltzy offering from that label’s Genuine Houserockin’ Christmas album. All four Copeland albums boast impressive producers including Bruce Iglauer, Steve Cropper, Dr John and John Hahn.
The album opens with “Turn The Heat Up”, a rocking soul number and one of two on the CD enhanced by the excellent Uptown Horns. The funky “Living On Love” is one of four tracks that features Dr John on keyboards of which the New Orleans-influenced “When A Woman’s Had Enough” is arguably the pick. “It’s 2am” is a bouncing rocker with some belting harp delivered by Sugar Blue. The album also includes three slow blues, not least Steve Cropper’s “Ghetto Child”.
“Beat Up Guitar” has a Delta feel to it and benefits from some lovely playing from Jimmy Vivino, who shares guitar responsibilities across the album with the equally impressive Arthur Neilson. The album concludes with the slow blues “Salt In My Wounds” nestling between two vibrant rockers, “All About You” and “Your Mama’s Talking”.
This is a classy, nicely varied collection that admirably showcases Shemekia Copeland’s powerful vocals, particularly on the upbeat rocking numbers.