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Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan, and Shemekia Copeland Bring Night of Blues to Trenton September 30, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.

The Blues returns to the capital city on October 23 for one night with legends Buddy Guy and Jimmie Vaughan, and the young Blues queen Shemekia Copeland at Patriots Theater at the War Memorial.

Trenton, NJ—With his new album, “Living Proof,” available next month, Guy takes a hard look back at a remarkable life. At age 74, he’s a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, a major influence on rock titans like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, a pioneer of Chicago’s fabled West Side sound, and a living link to that city’s halcyon days of electric blues. He has received five Grammy Awards, 23 W.C. Handy Blues Awards (the most any artist has received), the Billboard magazine Century Award for distinguished artistic achievement, and the Presidential National Medal of Arts. Rolling Stone ranked him in the top 30 of its “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”

Though Guy will forever be associated with Chicago, his story actually begins in Louisiana. One of five children, he was born in 1936 to a sharecropper’s family and raised on a plantation near the small town of Lettsworth, located some 140 miles northwest of New Orleans. Guy was just seven years old when he fashioned his first makeshift “guitar”—a two-string contraption attached to a piece of wood and secured with his mother’s hairpins.

Perhaps the most significant landmark on “Living Proof” is that, for the first time, the incomparable B.B. King stopped by to play and sing a song, “Stay Around a Little Longer,” on a Buddy Guy album.

“I am excited to be on the same bill with Jimmie and Shemekia,” Guy said. “I’ve done shows with them before and am looking forward to it as much now as I did the first time.”

Jimmie Vaughan is far more than just one of the greatest and most respected guitarists in the world of popular music; as Guitar Player magazine notes, “He is a virtual deity–a living legend.” After all, Vaughan provides a vital link between contemporary music and its proud heritage, as well as being a longtime avatar of retro cool.

With Vaughan’s fifth and most recent solo release, “Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites,” was released in July. Exactly what the title implies, the record is made up of Vaughan’s hand-picked favorites, including covers of songs by artists such as Little Richard, Jimmy Reed, Willie Nelson, Roy Milton, and Roscoe Gordon.

Since releasing his first solo album in 1994, Vaughan has set the standard for quality modern roots music. Throughout his career, Vaughan has earned the esteem of his legendary guitar-playing heroes and superstar peers along with successive generations of young players. His musical ethos and personal style have had an impact on contemporary culture, from spearheading the current blues revival with The Fabulous Thunderbirds to his longtime, innate fashion sense of slicked-back hair and sharp vintage threads (now seen throughout the pages of contemporary fashion journals) to becoming a premier designer of classic custom cars.

At a young age, Shemekia Copeland is already a force to be reckoned with in the Blues. While still in her 20s, she’s opened for the Rolling Stones, headlined at the Chicago Blues Festival and numerous festivals around the world, and scored critics’ choice awards on both sides of the Atlantic (The New York Times and The Times of London). Heir to the rich tradition of soul-drenched divas like Ruth Brown, Etta James, and Koko Taylor, Copeland’s passion for singing, matched with her huge, blast-furnace voice, gives her music a timeless power and a heart-pounding urgency. Her music comes from deep within her soul and from the streets where she grew up, surrounded by the everyday sounds of the city – street performers, gospel singers, blasting radios, bands in local parks, and so much more.

Born in Harlem, New York, in 1979, Copeland actually came to her singing career slowly. Her father, the late Texas blues guitar legend Johnny Clyde Copeland, recognized his daughter’s talent early on. He always encouraged her to sing at home, and even brought her on stage to sing at Harlem’s famed Cotton Club when she was just eight. At the time, Shemekia’s embarrassment outweighed her desire to sing. But when she was fifteen and her father’s health began to fail, her outlook changed. At only 19, Copeland stepped out of her father’s shadow with her debut recording, “Turn the Heat Up!,” and the critics raved.

Last year’s “Never Going Back” represents a crossroads in Copeland’s ongoing artistic journey – a place where numerous new avenues are open to her. While she will always remain loyal to her blues roots, Never Going Back takes a more forward view of the blues, and in so doing points her music and her career in a new direction.

“It should be a fantastic show,” said Copeland. “We’ve got three different generations of blues represented which in itself is cool. Plus we all rock. I’m trying to create blues for a new generation to make sure the music stays alive.”

Tickets for this unforgettable night of Blues are just $29.00, $39.00, $49.00, $65.00, and $79.00. A 10% military discount is available (Box office only, must show ID). Tickets are available by calling The Patriots Theater Box Office at (609) 984-8400 or (800) 955-5566, or online at thewarmemorial.com or tickets.com.

Patriots Theater at the War Memorial is located at 1 Memorial Drive, Trenton, NJ 08608.

Show time is 7:30 p.m. Parking is always free and directions can be found at the Patriot’s Theater website (www.thewarmemorial.com).



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