Valerie June “Workin’ Woman Blues”


Some time ago I turned on my car radio, and couldn’t believe the sound that came out of my speakers.  A song I felt I should have heard before, but hadn’t, from a voice I couldn’t believe I didn’t know.  I was floored when I found out that sound came from a young woman who’s out there strumming and singing as we speak.  Her name’s Valerie June, and she makes somethin’ she calls “moonshine music.”

valeriejune-memphis-music-photographer[Interview with Valerie June]

When you’re going down through Mississippi in the Clarksdale area and the Helena, Arkansas area and its night time and there’s a full moon and there’s the rows of cotton and you see that moon spilling over those rows of cotton and it’s just the lonely, lonely, lonely road and you feel all those spirits that worked there and that gave so much of their time and lives and energy to the soil and the earth and just keeping everybody alive through music and the spirits lifted through music, it’s just like powerful.  And that’s why I call it moonshine you know this music because it’s, ya know, it can be intoxicating, this journey, it can be very ya know magical like that Mississippi moon coming down over the cotton.


Valerie June Hockett was born in 1982 near Jackson, Tennessee. With gospel in church and R&B records at home, Valerie grew up surrounded by great music.

She moved to Memphis and began recording at age nineteen as half of the duo Bella Sun. Initially a vocalist, Valerie learned the guitar a few years later, after she’d gone solo. Now she’s a multi-instrumentalist and an accomplished songwriter with multiple quality albums under her belt, which she describes as “organic moonshine roots music.” For more on Valerie and for tour information, check out her website: