The Havre de Grace Jazz & Blues Fest presents: Shemekia Copeland (with opener The Nighthawks)
Saturday, June 4 – 8:00 pm
Shemekia Copeland – Multi-award winning Blues artist
The Chicago Tribune’s famed jazz critic Howard Reich says, “Shemekia Copeland is the greatest female blues vocalist working today.
Named International Artist of the Year by the UK Blues Federation (Aug. ’21); Entertainer of the Year by the Blues Foundation (Aug. ’21); #1 Blues Album of the Year by MOJO Magazine (Nov. ’20); “Uncivil War” has garnered her 4th Grammy nomination. Downbeat Magazine featured her on the February cover of the magazine. For a full list of her awards, visit http://www.shemekiacopeland.com/awards/
Shemekia Copeland never holds back. Her instantly recognizable voice—capable of being sultry, assertive and roaring—delivers every song with unparalleled honesty and passion. Her wide-open vision of contemporary Americana roots and soul music showcases the evolution of a passionate artist with an up-to-the-minute musical and lyrical approach.
“Copeland is a powerhouse, a superstar…she can do no wrong.” –Rolling Stone
“Shemekia Copeland is one of the great blues voices of our time. No one comes close to the sheer firepower that Copeland conjures at will.” –Chicago Tribune “Shemekia Copeland is the real deal. America’s Child goes deep and Shemekia‘s voice—a national treasure—carries the songs effortlessly, whether topical, personal, spiritual, political or just plain raucous fun. Shemekia rears back her head and what comes out is humanity made vocal.” –Will Kimbrough
Shemekia Copeland has performed thousands of shows at clubs, festivals and concert halls all over the world and has appeared on national television, NPR, and in newspapers, films and magazines. She’s sung with Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, James Cotton and many others. She opened for The Rolling Stones and entertained U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait. Jeff Beck calls her “amazing.” Santana says, “She’s incandescent…a diamond.” In 2012, she performed with B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Buddy Guy, Trombone Shorty, Gary Clark, Jr. and others at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama.
“When Shemekia Copeland opens her mouth, everybody pays attention. She pierces your soul. This is how you do it, and nobody does it better than Shemekia Copeland.”
– No Depression.com
Legends of Blues and Roots Rock
With some 30 recordings, local and international awards to their credit – including Blues Music Award – Acoustic Album of the Year 2011 – The Nighthawks still churn out new material while drawing on more than four decades’ worth of signature tunes for their legendary live shows. As their 50th anniversary approaches, The Nighthawks step forward with two new members: Dan Hovey on guitar and Paul Pisciotta on bass. Dan delivers strong lead vocals along with his tasty guitar playing, and Paul brings the band’s already famous four-part harmonies to a new level. Drummer Mark Stutso’s singing and songwriting make him an audience favorite. And founder, lead singer and harpmaster Mark Wenner is still at the helm. You won’t want to miss this memorable show!
Nighthawks 50th Anniversary Release
On this landmark anniversary, founder, lead singer, and harpmaster, Mark Wenner, is still at the helm, while drummer Mark Stutso, guitarist Dan Hovey and bassist Paul Pisciotta all share vocals and songwriting, making this lineup on the strongest ever. Decades of gigs and countless rabid fans have earned them the name “The Best Bar Band In The World.” More than a bar band or blues band, as they’re frequently labeled, this is a band that played with Carl Perkins in addition to Muddy Waters.
In March 2020, with a brand-new recording to promote, The Nighthawks did something previously unthinkable: They stopped in the middle of a Florida tour and drove home. Like so many other people, the band members found themselves out of work as the coronavirus swept the country. Itching to play, The Nighthawks found a couple of spaces large enough to stay apart while woodshedding new material. Previously, the process had been a streamlined one. The band would rough out a dozen new tunes in an afternoon and perform them every night for a year or two before recording. But now there was time, tons of it. Weeks turned into months.
Produced by The Nighthawks and longtime compadre, David Earl, they took advantage of the pandemic slowdown to hunker down in Earl’s Severn Sound Studios in Annapolis, Maryland and crank out fourteen new tracks in the class Nighthawks style.
Dan Hovey wrote a very relevant rocker, “You Seem Distant.” Mark Stutso followed with a fully blast, “Coming and Going.” Florida friend, Colin Kenny, a.k.a. Raiford Starke, wrote the soulful, “West Memphis,” and the band stylistically took it to Memphis. Stutso came up with, “Gas Station Chicken,” and everyone contributed to bringing in the funk. Hovey added three more: “Houseband,” “Fuss and Fight,” and the acoustic delight, “Driving.” In between are British pub rock monster, Gariant Watkins’ “Nobody,” Jimmy Reed’s “Take it Easy, featuring producer David Earl contributing the Eddie Taylor licks on guitar; Eddie Hinton’s version of Sam Cook’s “I’ll Come Running Back”; John Hammond’s version of Mose Allison’s “Ask Me Nice”; a wild version of reggae classic, “Johnny Too Bad”; an outtake rendition of Elvin Presley’s “Ain’t That Lovin’ You”; a Hillbilly interpretation of the Coasters’ “Run Red Run”; and half a dozen others that fell by the wayside. They’d play, record, rearrange, and re-record until they got them just right.
In the tradition they set forth on Rock and Roll, the band’s debut 1974 recording and mission statement, the material is not bound by genre, other than the widest range of American Roots Music.