Valerie June on The Morning Mix

Valerie June, originally from Tennesse and now living in Brooklyn, talks to Cindy Howes about her new album Pushin' Against a Stone, which was co-produced by Dan Auerbach.

Valerie June is a singer-songwriter from Memphis, Tennessee.  June’s music encompasses of a variety of music including folk, blues, gospel, soul, country, Appalachian and bluegrass.

Valerie June discussed singing in church when she was younger.  June explains the influence of singing with her church on her singing, “Everyone has a voice, no voice is judged.  You’re commanded by God with your voice.  People want to judge voices all the time.  The church I went was a church where the whole belief around it, is that it’s not about if you can or can’t, everybody can and you need to.  And that’s what I was around for eighteen years of my life.”

Valerie June has developed her own sound, “Moonshine Roots Music.”  June attests her created style of music to growing up in the “genre conscious” Tennessee.  “I think that music is just something that is in the subconscious and it’s there and it’s present even when we’re at the grocery shopping or we’re at the gas station.  I’m just in tune to what’s playing around me all the time,” adds June.

Valerie June no longer primarily resides in Tennessee, she now lives in Brooklyn, New York.  June commented on how surprised she was to see the folk and blue grass music come out of the Brooklyn music scene.  “It’s kind of neat that it doesn’t matter where you live like I was saying.  It doesn’t matter if you can sing or you can’t sing, it’s what you feel connected to and what kind of music you feel moves you.  I don’t really think it matters where you live.  It matters where your passion is and where your heart is,” explains June.

Valerie June’s latest album, Pushin' Against a Stone, was co-produced by Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys).  “This is more of a time to be open and more of a time to have mentors come into my life because I needed guidance in the sense of I needed to learn more about what it’s like to use old mics and old analog equipment and what it’s like to work with someone like Booker T [Jones].  [He’s] played with so many different musicians from all over the world and has just grown so much from the days of working on of Stax to being prolific and amazing and legendary.  I needed those kind of people in my life to help me and give my lessons and just guidance.  I feel so lucky to have that,” explains June.  The new album Pushin’ Against a Stone is out now and available in stores and online.