Valerie June performs live in The Current studios

Valerie June performs a special acoustic version of "You Can't Be Told" live on 89.3 The Current. (MPR / Nate Ryan)
Valerie June performs in The Current studios
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Tennessee native Valerie June feels a deep connection — if not responsibility — to her home state's musical traditions, pointing to such pioneers as Memphis Minnie, Elvis Presley and Booker T. Jones. "I have a lot to live up to, being from Memphis," she says.

While touring in support of her new album, Pushin' Against a Stone (co-written and produced by Dan Auerbach), June stopped by The Current's studios to talk to Mac Wilson ahead of her show that night at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis.

During her interview, June describes how she met Booker T., and how the multi-instrumentalist and producer has become a mentor to her. She ponders the possibility of country music becoming part of the lineup at Lollapalooza. And when asked about her entry into music, June explains how, as a little girl, she was inspired by Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car."

Almost mystical in her approach to music, June shares how the idea for her song "Twined & Twisted" came to her in a dream and how she assembles each show's set list after having time to absorb the energy of the venue.

Songs Performed

"You Can't Be Told"
"Workin' Woman Blues"
"Twined & Twisted"

All songs off Valerie June's new release, Pushin' Against a Stone, out now on Sunday Best Recordings.

External Link

Valerie June - official site

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  • Valerie June On Learning To Love 'Perfectly Imperfect' Voices On the new album Pushin' Against a Stone, the Tennessean surveys a spectrum of her home state's signature sounds. She tells NPR's Audie Cornish that she got over old anxieties about her singing voice by embracing it as a storytelling tool.
  • First Listen: Valerie June, 'Pushin' Against A Stone' The Tennessee singer's keening soprano shows off its twang, yet sounds totally contemporary. As she ranges across many musical paths -- country blues, fiery hymns and more -- June is careful to keep returning home to storytelling with just a few simple words and an acoustic guitar.