Valeria June is a tough one for me. She grew up in Tennessee, where she learned to sing from fellow churchgoers and Norah Jones, who was her childhood friend, and you can hear the religious influence on her music. It feels spiritual. You can also feel the influence of a true Southern upbringing. So I want to say this is Americana, and it is, but Valeria’s voice is so…Different. So powerful and moving. That it’s more of a soul record. And you can hear that on “Love You Once Made,” which could easily be a 1960s soul blues single, unearthed from the same enriched mine as Sam Cooke. But the very next track, Shakedown, is clear barroom blues. And then it moves into indie soul with “If And,” which has a modern feel but at once feels rootsy.

The result is something magical.

She’s coming to the Birchmere soon and I will most definitely be there!

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