Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page

 Guitarist Les Copeland is one of the superb talents from British Columbia, beginning his musical career as a country blues guy with a bottleneck stuck on one of his fingers. He has subsequently developed great versatility, adding material by jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery and rocker Chuck Berry to his repertoire, among moves that would make his mentor, Robert Johnson, want to hustle back to the crossroads for another midnight meeting.
Les Copeland - Don't Let the Devil In
Les Copeland is a rambling blues artist who needs no one else to help him express how he feels about his personalized music. He's an exceptional guitarist, especially when he goes to the bottleneck slide, and his soulful voice is distinctive, a bit gritty and dirty, getting the job done time after time. All of these songs save one are originals written by Copeland, depicting lost love, interest in trains, and the push/pull of life based on his experiences growing up in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Cleary in tribute to 'Ry Cooder,' where his slide guitar side comes shining through, or distinctly influenced by fellow Canadian Jorma Kaukonen during 'Distant Train,' you hear where Copeland has come from and is going toward. There's a sweeter, jazz swing element to 'Ginseng Girl,' a tougher persona a la Muddy Waters during an interpretation of Robert Nighthawk's 'Anna Lee,' and a more deliberate aspect to three specific selections where Earwig head honcho Michael Frank joins Copeland on harmonica. David 'Honeyboy' Edwards gets in on another two songs that demonstrate the low-down, slowed-down rural blues roots of this music. So it's not all about Les Copeland, but he is that main man on this delightful set of folk-blues with an edge that should be easily favored by all stripes of purist blues enthusiasts. ~~ by Michael G. Nastos.