Pushin’ Against a Stone - my new album - is OUT NOW in the UK and Europe!! It’s been such a lovely journey leading up to this day and I’m so massively thrilled to finally share my album with all of you folks!
Order the CD and Vinyl at www.valeriejune.com/store
Download the record on iTunes here: http://smarturl.it/d6vgdq
Valerie June is the singer-songwriter that has become captivating audiences across the world with her Moonshine Roots Music. After successful appearances at Bestival in the summer and a recent appearance on Later … With Jools Holland, it’s quite clear that the arising star has captured the UK well within her grasp.
Fortitude Magazine had the opportunity to discuss a little more about the singer, her influences and most importantly, what is Moonshine Roots Music? This is what she had to say:
Hi Valerie, it’s a pleasure to have a chat with yourself, how are you today?
I am doing alright. Thank you.
Do you mind explaining to our readers, what inspired you to become a full-time musician?
Honestly, my body told me I could no longer work as hard doing physical labour. It was the realization that I am not John Henry. My life at this time is no longer about hard physical work, but smart and heart work. I am currently dedicated to doing what I love and trying to enjoy each moment of my life.
Your album, ‘Pushin’ Against A Stone’ was produced by Kevin Augunas, notable for his work alongside Florence + The Machine and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, what was he like to work alongside?
When Kevin came and we met in Memphis, I told him I had very strong ideas about the kind of musical exploring I wanted to do. I asked him if he was a fighter. This record is proof that he is very strong indeed. When we had opposing ideas, he stayed in the room and worked through the challenges of my first producer/artist endeavour. Looking back, there are a multitude of ways Kevin understood me musically. He is great at capturing that old sound I like.
The record, also, consisted of The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach co-writing several of the tracks, how did this come about?
Kevin introduced me to Dan for songwriting originally, then Dan ended up agreeing to co-produce the album as well with Kevin. I loved The Black Keys, but I was especially drawn to Keep It Hid, Dan’s solo self-produced record. I had been listening to it on repeat for three seasons.
Your songs are described as ‘Organic Moonshine Roots Music’, could you provide a little insight into what that consists of?
Moonshine Roots Music is an amalgamation of blues, folk, gospel, soul, Appalachian and bluegrass (including irresistible banjo). It’s mostly just southern American influenced music.
Any particular artists that have influenced you musically into fusing this unique sound?
Elizabeth Cotten, Leadbelly, The Carter Family, Whitney Houston, Van Morrison, Dolly Parton, Roscoe Holcomb, Woody Guthrie, Nico, Junior Kimbrough, Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, Imogen Heap, The Beatles, Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, Townes Van Zant, Joni Mitchell, Tracey Chapman, Billie Holiday, The Rolling Stones, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Mississippi John Hurt, Elmore James, Skip James, Blind Willie McTell, Memphis Minnie, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Joanna Newsom.
You appeared at Bestival this year, how was it to venture over to the UK to captivate our audiences?
I really enjoyed performing for the Bestival audience. Y’all put on a mean festival!
With your single ‘Workin’ Woman Blues’ due out in November and your album expected in May next year, should we anticipate a Valerie June UK invasion again soon?
Yes, I will invade the UK very, very soon. In November, I will be going on tour throughout Europe.
Our final question; other than yourself, who would you recommend Fortitude Magazine and our audience check out?
If you like roots music you might try a fella named Blind Boy Paxton. He’s living in NY just like me, and he’s one of the youngest and finest banjo pickin’, rag time piano tappin’ guitar players this side of the Mason-Dixon line.
Luther Dickinson just released one of the sweetest instrumental country blues type records I’ve heard come from a guitarist genius. He’s delicate when he needs to be and can throw the guitar geeks just enough diggity-daggity to keep their jaws dropped and the ladies listenin’. Now who can do that with such grace?
I could keep name droppin’, but I am hoping we might stay in touch and talk again really soon.
We definitely shall be keeping in touch Valerie!