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Shemekia Copeland - The Soul Truth - Alligator Records

If you're already a fan of blues singer Shemekia Copeland you'll be happy to know she's made the best album of her career. The Soul Truth is the third album from the daughter of the late great bluesman Johnny Copeland, and is Ms. Copeland's funkiest, grittiest, blues-iest rockin' record yet.

What makes The Soul Truth so convincing and fun to listen to is that it pairs Copeland's talent for belting out a tune with flair and excitement with a producer and songwriter and guitarist who knows more than his share about R&B and blues.

The producer is Steve Cropper, a legendary guitarist and member of Booker T & The MG's who played guitar on almost every song ever recorded on the Stax-Volt label in the 1960's & '70's and then some. As a co-writer of songs like "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay," and "In The Midnight Hour," Cropper is also the Steve that Sam & Dave say "Play it Steve" when they shout him out during their hit, "Soul Man." Do I need to convince you any more of this man's legacy? I hope not.

Joining Copeland and Cropper on the album for special appearances are Dobie Gray, Felix Cavaliere, former Genesis and Frank Zappa drummer Chester Thompson, the Muscle Shoals Horns and sax player Jim Horn. The playing is inspiring; on the album you get real in-the-studio performances from Shemekia and the band steeped in the sweet sounds of old Memphis classics but with a updated, contemporary feel. And boy can this woman sing her heart out.

Written by Bruce Warren

Release Date: August 16, 2005

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