By Danielle Lyons
The twang and power behind Valerie June’s voice is something rarely seen in today’s music industry. She refers her music as, “organic moonshine roots music.” Rolling Stone calls her style a mix of, “Rural blues, Southern soul, back porch country, old-time gospel and Appalachian folk into a sonic stew.” Armed with a banjo, a guitar and her powerful voice, Valerie June creates music that demands to be felt.
Born and raised in Tennessee, she was raised around the gospel community. In fact, he first job was hanging posters in town for an array of gospel groups as well as Bobby Womack, K-C & JoJo, and Prince. At the age of 19, she began recording in the music city of Memphis. She continued music and eventually got her first break on a small MTV series called $5 Cover. She since has been working from project to project; always creating and playing.
Her most recent endeavor is her debut album, Pushin’ Against a Stone which was released in the UK and Europe. Valerie says this of the connection to her album and her roots, “I feel I’ve spent my life pushing against a stone. And the jobs I’ve had have been fitting for getting a true feel for how the traditional artists I loved came home after a hard day to sit on the porch and play tunes until bedtime.” This commemoration of her life has won her a nomination for a Blues Music Award in June of 2014.