Discovery: Valerie June



The moment you hear the hand claps and sliding guitar riff on Valerie June’s “You Can’t Be Told,” you immediately discover the newest approach to America’s greatest music genre. The Tennessee native takes the Blues as the base and layers upon it old time Country music, Gospel, Bluegrass, and countless other genres, to create a wholly original sound.

Valerie June had been crafting that sound and gaining in popularity worldwide for years. Producer Kevin Auguanas sought her out and made a coordinated effort to build a network of music industry professionals around her who could help her get the most out of her amazing talent. Auguanas would team with Peter Sabak and The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach to co-produce her first true studio record: Pushin’ Against A Stone.

Courtesy Sunday Best

Courtesy Sunday Best

If it was the creative minds around her that helped Valerie June get the sound she sought into recordings, it was her fans that made it possible for those songs to reach the masses. June’s Kickstarter successfully raised over $15,000 in funds that were dedicated toward the creation of her studio debut. This allowed Valerie and company to craft the record that she wanted before shopping it around to labels who were engaged in a cut-throat game with one another to ensure their ability to sign her. The album was released overseas on the Sunday Best imprint and it is distributed in the US by the Concord Music Group.

The resulting record features 11 songs, with an additional track, an acoustic version of “Somebody to Love.” Ten of the songs are original compositions, with the lone cover being the Valerie June/Dan Auerbach duet of Estil C. Ball’s “Trials, Troubles, Tribulations. Blues fans should be on the lookout throughout Pushin’ Against A Stone for Booker T. Jones and Jimbo Mathus.

Still a young woman, Valerie June’s drive has helped her to go from content band member to creative multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and sonic juggernaut. Her creative and individual music has taken her around the globe. The most impressive note worth taking, however, is Pushin’ Against A Stone is only the beginning.

Shop Pushin’ Against A Stone: [Vinyl][CD][mp3]

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Listen: Episode 1336


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