Tiny Desk

Valerie June

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10 min 2 sec

Short of seeing her live and in person, this is the best way to encounter Valerie June's heartfelt sound. Her new album Pushin' Against a Stone is terrific, but when I first heard that voice unadorned, I was hooked. The same may happen to you.

Valerie June is a singular performer with an array of singing styles. Sometimes she's channeling an old male voice; at other times, she channels a younger woman or even a child. Her music is steeped in tradition. The striking Tennessee singer — on its own, her hair could pass for sculpture — can sing the blues or gospel or country or a blend that sounds like nothing else. She learned how to sing during 18 years of church, but the "old man's voice" comes from deep inside in unexpected ways. Prepare to be surprised, and to become Valerie June's newest fan.

Set List
  • "Workin' Woman Blues"
  • "Rain Dance"
  • "Somebody To Love"
Credits

Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Editor: Becky Harlan; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Parker Miles Blohm, Denise DeBelius

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