Shemekia Copeland – Blame It On Eve


Shemekia Copeland - Blame It On Eve

Shemekia Copeland – Blame It On Eve
Format: CD – Vinyl LP – Digital
Label: Alligator Records
Release: 2024

Release date: August 30, 2024

Like her three previous albums—America’s Child, Uncivil War and Done Come Too FarBlame It On Eve makes bold statements about today’s crucial topics—a woman’s control over her own body in the title track, the horrors of climate change in Broken High Heels, and urban violence in Tough Mother. But Shemekia was determined not to cloak the album entirely in seriousness. From the vino tribute of Wine O’Clock to the tale of Tee Tot Payne (the black musician who taught the blues to Hank Williams), to Cadillac Blue, the happy story of a marriage that flaunts racial borders, to the rollicking Tell The Devil (to go to hell), Shemekia describes the new album this way — “There’s serious business but there are a lot of smiles here too, a lot of joyous moments. It’s my blues for sure but it’s the brighter side. Issues are always important to me, but so is rocking, dancing and just having fun.”

With ‘Blame It On Eve,’ Shemekia Copeland again teams up with producer/guitarist Will Kimbrough. Joining her on these memorable performances are guests like Americana superstar Alejandro Escovedo,guitarists Luther Dickinson and Charlie Hunter, lap steel master Jerry Douglas, and young sacred steel wizard DaShawn Hickman. All contribute to Shemekia’s ever-expanding musical vision, blending many different genres of roots music into her hard-hitting, sometimes very serious, sometimes happily lighthearted, version of the blues.

Shemekia has been a member of the Alligator family since she was seventeen, when I first heard her singing in a small club in New York. (She grew up in Harlem, raised by her famous bluesman father Johnny Copeland and her mother and biggest fan, Sandra Copeland.)  When I heard Shemekia, I couldn’t believe that such intense, nuanced, and deeply adult emotions were coming out of the mouth of a teenager. Shemekia was a thrilling, soul-stirring singer even then.

When she was younger, Shemekia sang mostly about traditional blues subjects — the ups and downs of love, won and lost. As she’s matured, and especially since she became a mother, her repertoire has broadened to address the joys and fears of being a parent in today’s complex and sometimes scary world. She has spoken out in indelible songs, decrying racism, violence, and sexism, supporting gender equality, and also glorying in the love of life. But though she sings about many current topics, she hasn’t turned away from old school blues. Listen to her earthshaking performance of her father’s song Down On Bended Knee, and you’ll hear just how profound and passionate a straight-ahead blues singer Shemekia Copeland is.


01. Blame It On Eve
02. Tough Mother
03. Only Miss You All The Time
04. Broken High Heels
05. Wine O’clock
06. Is There Anybody Up There?
07. Cadillac Blue
08. Belle Sorciere
09. Tell The Devil
10. Tee Tot Payne
11. Down On Bended Knee
12. Heaven Help Us All

Shemekia Copeland: Vocals
Will Kimbrough: Guitar; Organ on Is There Anybody Up There?, Tell The Devil and Heaven Help Us All; Percussion on Tell The Devil; Mandolin on Tee Tot Payne and Down On Bended Knee
Lex Price: Bass
Pete Abbott: Drums

Pascal Danae: Vocals on Belle Sorciere
Luther Dickinson: Guitar on Blame It On Eve and Tough Mother
Jerry Douglas: Lap Steel Guitar on Cadillac Blue; Dobro on Tee Tot Payne
Alejandro Escovedo: Vocals on Is There Anybody Up There?
Cara Fox: Cello on Belle Sorciere
Kevin Gordon: Guitar on Cadillac Blue
Dashawn Hickman: Sacred Steel Guitar on Tell The Devil
Jim Hoke: Saxophone on Blame It On Eve
Charlie Hunter: Guitar on Wine O’Clock
Lisa Oliver Gray and Odessa Settles: Background Vocals on Heaven Help Us All; Background Vocals, Percussion on Tell The Devil
Lucinda Spence and John Hahn: Percussion on Tell The Devil