On Saturday, September 21, at 7 p.m., Door Community Auditorium (DCA) will present a one-of-a-kind double bill as part of its series Blue, Roots, and American Stories: powerhouse singer Shemekia Copeland, whose blues-roots work Paste calls “terrific literary songwriting,”and South Carolina quintet Ranky Tanky, whose new twist on American Gullah music NPR calls “soulful honey to the ears.”
Shemekia Copeland sings like no one else, whether she’s belting out a raucous blues-rocker, firing up a blistering soul-shouter, bringing spirit to a gospel-fueled R&B rave-up, or digging deep into a country-tinged ballad. With a voice that is alternately sultry, assertive, and roaring, Copeland’s wide-open fusion of contemporary blues, roots, and soul music showcases the evolution of a passionate artist with a modern musical and lyrical approach.
PopMatters, who called “America’s Child” one of the 20 best albums of 2018, wrote, “Shemekia Copeland represents some of the year’s best articulations of the American spirit, both musically and thematically. Copeland is a towering singer, with a knack for telling deeply-felt stories and finding bone-deep grooves that add fresh vitality to her traditional forms.”
Copeland will be joined at DCA by Charleston, South Carolina-based quintet Ranky Tanky, whose name translates loosely as “Work it!” or “Get funky!” In this spirit, Ranky Tanky performs timeless music of the Gullah culture, which was born in the southeastern Sea Island region of the United States. With their repertoire of playful game songs and ecstatic shouts, heartbreaking spirituals and delicate lullabies, Ranky Tanky’s accomplished artists (all natives of South Carolina) bring new life to this inimitable style of music, which was born long ago in their own backyards.
The Shepherd Express says Ranky Tanky creates “limber rhythms, shining trumpeting…genuine soulfulness.”
Shemekia Copeland and Ranky Tanky’s performance is made possible with support from major sponsors Blacksmith Inn, JJ’s La Puerta & The Waterfront Restaurant, and Wisconsin Public Radio, as well as supporting sponsor Wisconsin Cheese Masters.Shemekia Copeland and Ranky Tanky will perform at DCA at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 21. Tickets for the concert range from $45 to $70. Advance reservations are recommended and can be made through the DCA box office, located at 3926 Highway 42 in Fish Creek. The box office is open Monday-Friday, 12:00-5:00 p.m.Tickets can be purchased in person, on the phone at (920) 868-2728, or online at www.dcauditorium.org.