Valerie June Biography

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Genres: Alternative/Indie, Folk, Jazz, Pop, Rock

Valerie June (born Valerie June Hockett, c.1982) is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Memphis, Tennessee. Her sound encompasses a mixture of folk, blues, gospel, soul, country, Appalachian and bluegrass.

Born in Jackson, Tennessee, June relocated to Memphis in 2000 and began recording and performing at the age of 19, initially with her then-husband in the duo Bella Sun.[2] After her marriage ended she began working as a solo artist, combining blues, gospel and Appalachian folk, while learning guitar, banjo and lap-steel guitar. She became associated with the Memphis-based Broken String Collective.

In 2009 she was a featured artist on MTV's online series “$5 Cover,” and in 2010 she recorded the EP, “Valerie June and the Tennessee Express,” a collaboration with The Old Crow Medicine Show.

In 2011 she relocated from Memphis to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Shortly after, record producer Kevin Augunas introduced June to Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, which led to the recording of June's album, “Pushin' Against a Stone,” in July 2011, which was co-written and produced by Dan Auerbach and Kevin Augunas.

In 2012, June performed with producer John Forté on a collaboration called, “Water Suites” and with Meshell Ndegeocello on the song, “Be My Husband.” She contributed the The Wandering's 2012 album, “Go on Now, You Can't Stay Here: Mississippi Folk Music Volume III.”

After self-releasing three albums, her debut album as a signed artist, “Pushin' Against a Stone,” was released in the U.K. and Europe through Sunday Best Recordings in May 2013, and through Concord Music Group in August 2013. The album included several songs co-written with Auerbach who co-produced it with Augunas. The record includes performances by Booker T. Jones, who co-wrote one of the songs contained on the album.