Aretha Franklin and Gloria Gaynor once used vulnerability to present an image of female strength that was unprecedented in its day, but Chicago blues singer Shemekia Copeland‘s modern woman pushes through on sass alone.
Unapologetic about her determination and her lust — and funny as hell — Copeland uses her ball-busting self-assurance to lift her music far above its straight-ahead blues foundation. She makes her terms unmistakably clear when she, say, entices a guy to get into her car in one song: I’m a wild woman, baby — and you’re a lucky man.
It’s a wild ride for the listener, too, when that straight-shooting persona swells to juggernaut proportions in concert. No crowd could possibly resist when Copeland chides an egotistical lover for stroking himself, both figuratively and literally: Maybe someday you’ll get a clue/That this whole world don’t revolve around you.
“Beat Up Guitar” by Shemekia Copeland