A native of Tennessee, she is steeped not just in the Blues, Gospel and Appalachian Country music of her home region, but also in the classic and modern Soul artists that her father, a concert promoter, introduced to her. She moved to Memphis, Tenn., in 2000, still a teenager, and slowly built a devoted local following for her singing style — contemporary but fused with reverence for authenticity, à la Gillian Welch mixed with Erykah Badu.
She also became accomplished at accompanying herself on guitar, banjo and ukulele.Her true break came upon moving to Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Williamsburg neighborhood in 2011. She began working with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach for her major-label debut, Pushin’ Against a Stone, which came out in August on Sunday Best Recordings. Producers Auerbach and Kevin Augunas have gotten an amazingly invigorating and varied — but always roots-solid — sound out of her and the accompanists. At times it recalls the chilling “old weird America” Blues of Junior Kimbrough, at times Dolly Parton before she went Hollywood and at other times it has the gritty kick of Alabama Shakes.
VALERIE JUNE plays Thursday, Oct. 24 at Southgate House Revival in Newport. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.