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Pushin' Against a Stone

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Editors’ Notes

Years of performing and releasing solo albums on her own have earned Valerie June a sturdy fanbase, but it was a crucial move to Brooklyn—where she made the acquaintance of The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach—that has brought her music to the attention of people who can break a potential star nationwide. June captures a roots-music movement that's been updated in the new millennium. Here, the blues-jazz-pop genres flow like never before, and the nightclub pop of "The Hour" (where "I Put a Spell on You" shakes off its creepy horror for something sweet and seductive) is just one more weapon at her disposal. "Workin' Woman Blues" is a modern anthem with an easeful shuffle, where the freedom to walk the streets as your own person makes more sense than trying to lead thousands into song. "Twined & Twisted" evokes memories of when folk singers delivered the news. Modern beats create an answer to Philly Soul on "Wanna Be on Your Mind." The lone cover here—of Estil C. Ball's "Trials, Troubles, Tribulations"—puts June and Auerbach at the same mike to harmonize like vintage country. "Shotgun" howls and moans with a lone acoustic slide guitar for vintage blues.

Customer Reviews


I was raised near Ms. June in west Tennessee. Authentic is an understatement when describing her music. It is as if she heard every story between the two rivers and then wrote an album to describe them. This our music scraped from the ground, stole from the holler, raised on the streets, and sung by our mothers. Thank you Valerie.


I happened to hear Valerie June on a collaboration she did with Michelle Ndegeocello (a cover of Be My Husband) and her voice blew me away! I have never wanted August to come so quickly. Valerie is original, raw and a welcome change from today's top 20, she is truly an artist!!!

This is a NICE Sound

I listened to this album and just loved the blending country, bluegrass, R&B, gospel and folk music into one sound. Valerie June has a made a new fan.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Blending folk, soul, blues, and Appalachian traditional elements into a refreshingly timeless sound that sits outside any particular musical era, Valerie June stands in a long and storied line of unique performers in Memphis, a city with a still vibrant music scene even into the 21st century. The daughter of a brick cleaner from Humboldt in the flatlands of West Tennessee, June took quickly to the various local roots music styles in the area, teaching herself guitar and developing her own stylistic...
Full Bio
Pushin' Against a Stone, Valerie June
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Customer Ratings