Valerie June settles into an inviting blend of blues, gospel, soul, and even Saharan guitar music on The Order of Time | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Valerie June settles into an inviting blend of blues, gospel, soul, and even Saharan guitar music on The Order of Time  

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click to enlarge Valerie June

Valerie June

Courtesy the artist

On her forthcoming album The Order of Time (due from Concord on March 10) Tennessee-bred singer-songwriter Valerie June settles into a more naturalistic groove, adjusting from her 2013 breakout Pushin’ Against a Stone—influenced by the heavy hand of producer Dan Auerbach—to something that feels morelike it belongs to her. Her music continues to draw from a wide swath of influences: bits of gospel, soul, blues, pop, and even a version of Tinariwen’s Saharan blues (“Shakedown”) are folded into an atmospheric amalgam that toggles between tender and taut, with June’s nasal drawl pulling everything together. The album opener, “Long Lonely Road,” seems to reflect on her journey from rustic beginnings: “Gran made the best yeast rolls” and “Pops earned his bread in dust” she recalls while looking back on her decision to leave home for New York at 18, the song’s air of melancholy spiked with hazy optimism.   v

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