Valerie June “Got Soul”

You just have to love who she is. Valerie June Hockett has become an embodiment of country music with overtones of other mixed music genres that are influential to many diverse age groups and people.

Is she breaking the threads of what most people have always known as hillbilly music? Valerie June has a tail-wagging background that grasps onto the very roots of Nashville and the Ozarkian acoustical music styles.

June was exposed to gospel music at her local church and R&B and soul music via her father, Emerson Hockett. As a teenager, her first job was with her father, owner of Hockett Construction in West Tennessee, and a part-time promoter for gospel singers and Prince, K-Ci & JoJo, and Bobby Womack. She helped by hanging posters in town. Her father died in late 2016.

June relocated to Memphis in 2000 and began recording and performing at the age of 19, initially with her then-husband Michael Joyner, in the duo Bella Sun. After her marriage ended, she began working as a solo artist, combining blues, gospel and Appalachian folk in a style that she describes as “organic moonshine roots music”, and learning guitar, banjo, and lap-steel guitar. She became associated with the Memphis-based Broken String Collective.

In 2009 she was a featured artist on MTV’s online series $5 Cover (following the lives of Memphis musicians attempting to make ends meet), and in 2010 she recorded the EP Valerie June and the Tennessee Express, a collaboration with Old Crow Medicine Show.

In 2011 she was honored by the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission at the Emissaries of Memphis Music event. Wiki



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