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Valerie June: Organic Moonshine Roots at Memorial Hall

Photo credit: artist handout

If you're a fan of Johnny Cash, the Alabama Shakes, Otis Redding, and Shovels and Rope, then you'll be remiss to miss this star of Tennessee soul! Valerie June will grace Memorial Hall with The War and Treaty for a performance that perfectly suits that historic venue.

Valerie June was born and raised in Tennessee, and she sounds like it. When she performs, her music reveals the wide array of styles of the Volunteer State, from the banjo plonk of the Appalachians to Memphis’ deep funky soul. She plays guitar and banjo with a furious thumb and calls her sound “organic moonshine roots music”, and after collaborations with Sharon Jones, Dan Auerbach, and the Old Crow Medicine Show, she is touring in support of her fourth album, last year’s The Order of Time. June discovered music singing in church and working alongside her father, owner of a construction and demolition company who had a side business as a music promoter. She moved to Memphis after high school and sang in several bands, but developed her style after learning guitar and banjo to accompany herself on solo gigs. "I really fell in love with 1920s and ‘30s music when I moved to Memphis," she said, "Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotten, The Carter Family. I have almost everything with Alan Lomax's name on it. Once I discovered country blues and straight-up old time country, I never left it." June has sustained her momentum after an EP with Old Crow and appearances on MTV and Later… with Jools Holland on BBC Two, and appeared on many top-ten lists since the release of her previous album, 2013’s Pushin' Against a Stone. She will bring her signature genre-bending sound to Cincinnati for the third time (after last year’s Southgate House Revival and Midpoint Music Festival appearances), with husband-and-wife country/gospel/roots band The War and Treaty in support. Cincinnati’s music scene has always shown strong love for Americana-spectrum acts, but this show offers an unusual fusion of music both rural and urban, black and white, old and new for a night to remember. When: Wednesday, February 21, 8:00 PM

Where: Memorial Hall

How much: $18 balcony, $25 orchestra


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