Modern Griots: Valerie June


Valerie June feat. John Forte- Give Me Water

Valerie June is an music artist that caught my attention months ago. The “Organic Moonshine Roots” (a term she came up with) singer mixes together aspects from roots music, including the spirituals, blues, folk music, soul, and Appalachian music, and puts it into a modern 21st century style. Coming from Memphis, taught herself to play guitar and learned from different influences, such as songwriters like Bob Marley. June was originally part of the husband and wife duo, Bella Sun, releasing No Crystal Stair (referencing Langston Hughes’ poem) in 2004, before the marriage fell apart. The singer can play a number of instruments- the guitar, banjo, lap steel- and has released three other records, “The Way of the Weeping Willow” (recorded in parlor room of old farmhouse called The Stanton Depot) and “Mountain of Rose Quartz” (recorded at legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis) and “Valerie June and the Tennessee Express.” For more on June, watch the Alan Spearman documentary, “$5 Cover Amplified” and her kickstarter page for her upcoming album, “Manifest.” One of her latest singles is the neo-blues song, “Give Me Water” with John Forte. Also, below are some of her other songs:

From “$5 Cover Amplified”

“Raindance”

“Work’n Woman Blues”

No Draws Blues

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