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She’ll Be Somebody: Valerie June’s Pushin’ Against a Stone

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Valerie June takes a moment or two to get, to appreciate, but once you do you’re hooked.  Sometimes she sounds like a 50s goddess of soul, other times bayou princess, sometimes wild voiced, gospel, R&B, 60s, blues, jazz....  Forgot to mention bluegrass...and folk, and American music, roots, and... Somehow it all works together; it’s that voice. What a wonderful bit of realism and not a hint of Auto-Tune, thankfully—especially with a voice like this.

Organic Moonshine Roots Music

From the moment I first heard June’s Pushin’ Against a Stone I was trying to name its genre and I came to the conclusion that it is not a genre at all, but Valerie June and her musicians quite literally forming something new.  I was wrong of course, as upon visiting her website I found the actual genre: “Organic Moonshine Roots Music.” That’s as close as anyone will come to naming this peculiar and compelling fusion.

The band, the production, everything is together here.  We’ll put a couple of videos at the foot of this blurb, but Pushin’ Against a Stone deserves a close listening; it’s an album you can live with for some time and repeat. It is her “debut” album, but it is actually her fourth.  Thankfully, in this instance, she has some recognizable producers, producer Kevin Augunas who introduced June to Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, both of whom co-produced this fantastic album.  No kidding here, this is the real thing.



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