What happens when you put New Orleans funk and R&B roots behind a wide-open, Harlem-bred blues belter? That’s the premise on young blues-singing sensation Shemekia Copeland’s Talking to Strangers, which sets Dr. John behind the keyboards and in the producer’s chair. He also brings in members of his band -- most notably the best R&B drummer working today, Herman Ernest -- to add depth and diversity to Copeland’s fired-up touring band. The Good Doctor’s touch is felt throughout the CD. It’s as if Copeland were clay for him to sculpt into each tune. “Should Have Come Home” features his swampy organ with Copeland’s bold vocals coming on as worldly as a Bourbon Street streetwalker. On “Too Much Traffic” Dr. John’s piano tinkles in all the right places, giving Copeland tongue-in-cheek-support for her story of finding evidence of cheating in her boyfriend’s house. And for the love song “The Push I Need,” Dr. John blends his vocals with Copeland’s for a duet that could have come from 1959. But it’s not all oldies-but-goodies. The Dr. John-penned slow blues “Too Close” is as fresh as the latest story of commitment phobia, and “Ka-Ching” is a modern revenge tale with a credit card for a weapon. “Walk On” has the feel of New Orleans soul queen Irma Thomas’s live sets at Jazz Fest, while “Don’t Whisper” has all the drama of an Etta James reading. Copeland is still young, just 23, and she has grown and matured since her much-acclaimed previous release, Wicked. But the best thing about Talking to Strangers is that Dr. John has showcased this young singer's many talents and moods.
Performance CreditsShemekia Copeland Primary Artist,Vocals
David Barard Bass,Percussion,Background Vocals
Herman V. Ernest Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals
Hugh McCracken Rhythm Guitar
Larry McDonald Percussion
Arthur Neilson Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Slide Guitar,Soloist
Jason Langley Bass
Technical CreditsRay Bardani Engineer
Dave Buchter Engineer
Daniel Milazzo Engineer
Dick Kondas Engineer
Tim Ronaghan Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Particularly love the title song, Sholanda's and Too Much Traffic.