Valerie June’s critically acclaimed 2013 recording, Pushin’ Against a Stone, drew wide attention to the Tennessee native’s eclectic mix of blues, folk, bluegrass influences, world music rhythms, and her singer/songwriter abilities. She refers to it as “organic moonshine roots music.” The title of her latest work, The Order of Time, reflects June’s philosophy of recognizing and respecting the time it takes for things to happen in life, and for her songs to reach fruition. June recorded the album in Guilford, Vermont with producer Matt Marinelli, known for his work with Bad Brains, Beck, and Norah Jones. Jones contributes piano accompaniment on three of the twelve original songs on the record.
June is renowned for her picking skills on guitar and banjo and says,“People shouldn’t necessarily think of bluegrass when they see the banjo. It was originally an African instrument, and people in America used to play all kinds of banjo. For some reason people like to limit it and say it just has to be in folk and bluegrass, but to me it can be in anything, and I really wanted to set the banjo free on this record.”
June also contributed a version of “Astral Plane” from the new record to Bedstock, a music fest in which artists play songs from their beds for sick children who are stuck in their own. Fans contribute to the charity and help music be the medicine.
Many Central New York music fans will recall June’s captivating performance at the 2013 Chenango Blues Festival in Norwich, New York. See the accompanying photo.
The Order of Time can be pre-ordered through June’s website, iTunes, or Amazon, and will be released on Concord Records Jan. 27.