Listening to a recent episode of NPR’s All Songs Considered, music critic Ann Powers raved about singer-songwriter Valerie June. The Tennessee born artist calls her sound “Organic Moonshine Roots Music” — an “emotive amalgamation of folk, blues, gospel, soul, Appalachian and bluegrass (including [an] irresistible banjo”.
June is a self-taught musician and has self-released three albums, her debut as a signed artist, Pushin’ Against a Stone, released in the UK and Europe in May via Sunday Best Recordings; and hits U.S. soil through Concord Music Group on August 13. It includes several songs co-written with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, who co-produced it with Kevin Augunas (Florence & The Machine). It seems that the album was titled to commemorate her life story.
June says: “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.”
Born in Jackson, Tennessee (childhood home of poet Gil Scott-Heron), but raised in Humboldt, Tennessee, June is also featured in two songs on Meshell Ndegeocello’s Nina Simone tribute album, Pour Une Ame Souveraine (2012, Naive) — “Be My Husband” and “Black Is The Color of My True Love’s Hair”…
Below watch a video interview by Crane.tv with Valerie speaking about her music, expectations people have of her as an artist (with locs) and much more. Also, peep the video for her newest single “You Can’t Be Told”.
Pushin’ Against a Stone releases August 13.
Valerie June’s discography:
Valerie June and The Tennessee Express 
Mountain of Rose Quartz 
The Way of the Weeping Willow 
Upcoming U.S. tour dates:
August 10 – Cedar Cultural Center – Minneapolis, MN
August 14 – City Winery – New York, NY
August 15 – Tin Angel – Philadelphia, PA
August 17 – Chenango Blues Festival – Norwich, NY
August 18 – IOTA Club & Café – Arlington, VA