Shemekia Copeland steps to the lip of the stage and lets forth a cry that could carry for miles.
As she snarls and hisses the lyrics to “Ghetto Child,” the audience, numbering in the thousands at the Blues on the Fox festival in Aurora, Ill., roars its approval.
“Somebody, please, please help the ghetto child,” Copeland thunders. “I’m just the ghetto child in this so-called, in this so-called free land.”
Copeland has been igniting this anthem by her father, blues great Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, since she was a teenager, and on this night, as always, it proves the high point of her show and her art.
But nearly two decades after her stunning recording debut, “Turn the...