"The most strikingly individual delivery I've heard in ages"
The Independent, London
"I feel like my whole life I've always had a stone I've been pushing," says Valerie June, explaining the title of her debut, "Pushin' Against a Stone." "Some days it's a good thing to have, like a best friend, and sometimes it's your worst enemy." The album showcases her blend of rural roots and country that connects Alan Lomax's acoustic field recordings with biting, electric indie-blues. At one moment seductive in a sensual come-on, fragile and vulnerable the next in a display of naked honesty, Valerie June transports you to another world the moment you hear her voice. That voice was born in her rrual Tennessee church. "Everybody sings in my church; there's never a choir," she explains. "There was every kind of voice you can think of, so I was always trying to sit beside somebody who had a cool voice and listen to them and see what I liked about it." Percolating somewhere between Dolly Parton and Billie Holiday, Valerie June's is a stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks voice, the kind that grips your imagination and paints her Southern songwriting portraits in vivid detail. A sensation of the 2017 Ann Arbor Folk Festival, Valerie June returns to The Ark with a full show that's been earning raves in Europe as well as North America. Detroit-born acoustic soul songwriter Al Bettis is special guest.