City Paper is not for tourists
A little bit Memphis, a little bit Nashville, and a whole lotta soulful, Valerie June’s twang is as at home on a whiskey-stained front porch as it is in a smoky blues bar. Born and raised in Jackson, Tenn., June began writing and performing at an early age, eventually mastering guitar, banjo, and lap steel guitar. But though her instrument skills are impressive, it’s her intoxicating voice that reels audiences in. With a tone that drifts between the Appalachian authenticity of Dolly and the emotive soul of Beale Street greats, June’s vocals blanket listeners in a warm wash of Southern charm. After she shared the studio with big-name artists like Old Crow Medicine Show and Me’Shell Ndegeocello, June’s self-described “organic moonshine roots music” snagged the attention of producer Kevin Augunas and the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who wrote and produced her most recent album, 2011’s Pushin’ Against a Stone. Recorded at the Black Keys’ studio in Nashville, Pushin’ Against a Stone attracted loads of attention for the now Brooklyn–dwelling artist, whose confidence shines on songs that embrace R&B, bluegrass, and folk in equal measure. Sixth and I’s intimate environs and stellar acoustics will provide the perfect setting for June’s standout croons. Oct. 2 at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. $20–$22.