Popular Americana Singer Valerie June Plays SOPAC June 12

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 From SOPAC:

Valerie June (credit Matthew Wignall)

Valerie June (credit Matthew Wignall)

Valerie June brings her bluesy voice from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to the South Orange Performing Arts Center June 12 at 7:30 p.m. Valerie’s astonishing and singular sound is a blend of rural Roots and Country that bridges Alan Lomax’s acoustic field recordings with biting, electric Indie-Blues. The singer-songwriter’s voice percolates somewhere between Dolly Parton and Billie Holiday. It is a stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks kind of voice, the kind that grips your imagination and paints her Southern portraits in vivid detail.

Valerie stops at SOPAC in support of her debut album,  Pushin’ Against a Stone, which was produced by Kevin Augunas (Edward Sharpe, Florence + The Machine), Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys, Lana Del Rey), and Peter Sabak, along with an all-star cast of fellow musicians ranging from Booker T. Jones and Jimbo Mathus to some of Hungary’s top session players.

The stunning recording is from an artist who’s journeyed a long and dusty road, pushing a mighty stone all the way. “It’s been a long night if that’s what happened,” she says when asked about her seemingly overnight breakout. It’s been a long night indeed, but dawn is just breaking for Tennessee native Valerie June.

“I feel like my whole life I’ve always had a stone I’ve been pushing,” she says, explaining the record’s title. “Some days it’s a good thing to have, like a best friend, and sometimes it’s your worst enemy. In the case of this record, I had so many friends helping me move the stone.”

Opening for Valerie June will be Anthony D’Amato, who is making a name for himself as a young and gifted singer-songwriter. Recorded with members of Bon Iver, Megafaun, and Josh Ritter’s band, Anthony D’Amato’s New West Records debut, The Shipwreck From The Shore, has already earned praise from NPR and The NY Times to SPIN and Billboard for its brand of heavy-hearted folk shot through with electric streaks of rock and roll. NPR says, “D’Amato sings and writes in the tradition of Bruce Springsteen or Josh Ritter, while the BBC calls him “brilliant.”

Valerie June performs at SOPAC June 12 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30-$40 and can be purchased online at SOPACnow.org, or by calling the box office at (973) 313-2787.

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