17

SUNDAY

Bluebird Blues Festival participant Shemekia Copeland has a devastating voice, and she knows how to use it. On her second album, Wicked, the 21-year-old Harlem-raised daughter of late bluesman Johnny Copeland never roars without reason. From her mournful cry on “Up on 1-2-5” to her Baptist testifying on “Whole Lotta Water,” the skilled vocal technician beautifully mixes subtlety with intensity. Compared by many to Etta James, this diva lives up to the hype. Copeland is one of a number of outstanding warblers in this year’s cleverly booked fest who demonstrate the continuing vitality of traditional R&B. The Hardway Connection features a trio of outstanding singers including Jerome Mackall, whose Al Green-like timbre is a thing of beauty; Jesse Yawn offers an affecting sad-toned plaint. At 1 p.m. at Prince George’s Community College, 301 Largo Road, Largo. Free. (301) 322-0853. (Steve Kiviat)