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Valerie June

She’s an organic roots musician from Tennessee, currently finishing her UK tour supporting the number one selling soloist Jake Bugg. Valerie June has been signed to Rob da Bank’s boutique label Sunday Best and is set to release her debut album, Pushin’ Against a Stone.

She first came to the UK to perform at Bestival (run by her label), her slot on Later … with Jools Holland and as a support act for Ryan Bingham at London’s Scala. Valerie will now be embarking on solo dates at the 100 Club in London this March before heading to Europe and returning to Belfast in May at The Black Box.

“There’s so much at your fingertips all the time and people are looking for something new and when you’re looking for something new you’ve got to go looking for something old and it’s my time and I’m excited about it,” Valerie tells Music Week.

“I’m just re-doing Memphis music my own way and it’s truly a rich heritage that I come from in the South and Tennessee, from country to blues, it’s all over the place so I’m just a product of my heritage.”

Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) co-wrote Valerie’s new single You Can’t Be Told and produced/co-wrote several more songs for the album at his Easy Eye Studio in Nashville. Kevin Augunas (Florence & The Machine, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes) also got involved producing the album in LA. Meanwhile, other parts were worked on in her husband’s country of origin, Budapest.

“Their studios are like a candy factory of vintage instruments. I was just like where am I at, it was wild.

“That’s one of the reasons I wanted to work with them because I like the vintage sound and it’s no surprise to me that they’re able to re-create that sound from the 60s and 70s because of the equipment and they know how to use it.”
Valerie also worked with the Grammy Award-winning Booker T. Jones on the album due out this Spring and collaborated with John Forte for the track Give Me Water.

Talking about her aspirations for the future and stardom, she said, “The people that I admire and my definition of success is so different from the way the world projects entertainers and artists.

“We all have to work and we all have to do something and I’m just lucky I get to work a labour of love.”

Originally published in Music Week under On The Radar.