Ze zingt rauwe blues die tegelijk heel warm klinkt. Het lijkt alsof ze 50 jaar op de katoenplantages heeft gewerkt maar zo ziet ze er niet uit. Valerie June is de naam en Workin’ woman blues is haar allereeste single uit haar nog te verschijnen debuut Pushin’ against a stone… Update: 25 april in Paradiso, zie details

valerie june

One to watch: Valerie June

If Valerie June had been a roots artist in America 80 years ago, and she often sings as if she was, she might have been a principle influence on today’s myriad retro troubadours, hers a stunningly emotive amalgamation of blues, folk, gospel, soul, Appalachian and bluegrass (including irresistible banjo). She exists, however, today, an artist as modern as an iPod Shuffle, a musician for the generation which carries the entire history of recorded music so casually inside its phone.

Like a potent distillation bubbling on a Prohibition-era porch, Valerie June makes self-styled “organic moonshine roots music”, music for the porch parties of today, a party where she strums her guitar, plucks her banjo, opens her mouth and delta-blues-country stridently sashays out, a stunning peal somewhere between Dolly Parton and Billie Holiday. Or is it more Wanda Jackson and Shirley Goodman, you know, from Shirley & Co, who sang Shame Shame Shame so disco friskily in 1974? Valerie June does this to you: reaches inside your musical brain and shakes it, unleashing ghosts, emotions and memories, all fluttering like countless musical flakes inside the snowglobe of your mind.

A self-taught musician, singer and song-writer from small-town Humboldt, Tennessee (population 8,000), she honed her astonishing sound in the vibrant Memphis atmosphere, her spectrum of influences the history of music itself: Elizabeth Cotten, Leadbelly, The Carter Family, Whitney Houston, Van Morrison, Dolly Parton, Roscoe Holcomb, Woody Guthrie, Nico, Junior Kimbrough, Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Tracey Chapman, Billie Holiday, The Rolling Stones, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Mississippi John Hurt, Gillian Welch, Townes Van Zandt, Elmore James, Skip James, Blind Willie McTell, Memphis Minnie…

Debut album Pushin’ Against A Stone – out on May 6, 2013

Pushin’ Against A Stone, released on Rob da Bank’s stellar boutique label Sunday Best, was mostly recorded at The Black Key’s Easy Eye studio in Nashville. Produced by Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) and Kevin Augunas (Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Florence & The Machine) it’s a sonic postcard from the universe, where the atoms of history live.

The ever so charming New York and Tennessee based singer/songwriter Valerie June shares with us some of the journey that’s led her up to her upcoming album, Pushin’ Against A Stone. The sound can be described as blues, folk, country, and thanks to our man Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys who is helping with songwriting and production, some good old soulful rock-n-roll, too…

Valerie June — Pushin’ Against a Stone Teaser

Debut single “Workin’ Woman Blues”

The debut single, Workin’ Woman Blues, is a riot, a brand new bona-fide blues-pop anthem, as if Bobbie Gentry fronted a Stax soul-revue, those mesmerising vocals telling it how it is: “I ain’t fit to be no mother, I ain’t fit to be no wife, yeah, I been workin’ like a man, y’all, I’ve been working all my life.” Elsewhere, there’s the delicate yet rousing triumph of Somebody To Love (featuring the iconic Booker T Jones), the traditional folk-gospel charm of Trials, Troubles, Tribulations, the spectral, swampy wooziness of Pushin’ Against A Stone (The Specials meets Phil Spector) and the dizzy, harmonised, Shangri-La sashay of Wanna Be On Your Mind, Valerie June’s voice sounding, somehow, both as old and wise as mother nature and as playfully naïve as a schoolgirl skipping home. Staggeringly, she’d never worked with a producer before, the experience opening her up to infinite new atmospheric possibilities.

New single ‘You Can’t Be Told’

Valerie June prepares to release the new single from her highly anticipated forthcoming debut album Pushin Against A Stone. The single You Can’t Be Told will be released through Sunday Best on 4th March and is another insight into her world of beautiful vintage country, gospel and powerful delta blues.

Valerie June (You Can't Be Told) Bestival 2012_HD

“You Can’t Be Told” was written by Valerie with Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) and Kevin Augunas (Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Florence & The Machine) and recorded at Dan’s Easy Eye Studio in Nashville along with several other tracks on the album.

More videoclips…

Give Me Water – John Forte & Valerie June

Valerie June – “The Drifter”

Valerie June : “Bring It On Home To Me”

Bekijk de fragmenten uit de interviews en concerten van zangeres Valerie June @ Mijke’s Middag

Visit her website at www.valeriejune.com for more info.

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