Shemekia Copeland, "33 1/3" (Telarc)
The Congregation, "Right Now Everything" (The Congregation)
Continuing Chicago's hot season for local releases, these two scorchers advocate forcefully for the city's soulful roots. Shemekia Copeland, nearly 15 years into a career but only as old as this album's title, seems to have been bequeathed Koko Taylor's title as Queen of the Blues. She deserves it, showcasing on "33 1/3" the worthwhile effort and resulting majesty in successfully blending old-world soul with new-age sass. Sticking with producer Oliver Wood (who guided her first post-Alligator Records outing, 2009's "Never Going Back") and restocking the cupboard with rich material (Bob Dylan, Sam Cooke, her dad Johnny Copeland) -- and joined on one track by Buddy Guy ("Ain't Gonna Be Your Tattoo") -- Copeland delivers a moody, smoky set worthy of some kind of crown.