Valerie who was born in Jackson, TN, moved to Memphis in 2000 at the age of 18 and began performing with her (then) husband in their duo Bella Sun. After their divorce Valerie began working solo. She went from coffee house gigs to touring across the South, and cut a homemade record in a friend’s 1800’s farmhouse to sell at shows, and followed that up with a disc she knocked out in 8 hours at Ardent Studios (‘Mountain of Rose Quartz’). She opened for Old Crow Medicine Show at Rhodes College, and the band loved her so much they invited her back to Nashville to record ‘Valerie June and the Tennessee Express.’
Valerie was a featured artist on MTV’s online series $5 Cover by Memphis’ Craig Brewer, and in 2010 she launched a successful Kickstarter project to fund her album. Later that year she moved to Brooklyn and in 2011 she recorded her debut album as a signed artist, ‘Pushin’ Against a Stone‘, which just launched in August, and includes performances by Booker T Jones and Jimbo Mathus.
Valerie joined up with other local musicians last year in The Wandering, a band of five traditionally-minded artists from Memphis and North Mississippi (featuring the string work of Luther Dickinson, and the voices of Shannon McNally, Amy LaVere, and Sharde Thomas).
Never heard of Valerie June? Watch her performance of “Workin’ Woman Blues” from CBS This Morning below:
Valerie June gained the attention of Starbucks and iTunes as their music pick of the week back in August, and continues to be recognized as an inspiring voice.
Welcome one of the most unique, inspiring voices of 2013: Valerie June. http://t.co/8sDbuMkhTw
— iTunes Music (@iTunesMusic) August 16, 2013
Most recently Valerie June’s album has been listed on Rolling Stone’s list of the 50 Best Albums of 2013.