Valerie June graced Jools Holland last night with a powerful take of her latest single, 'Workin' Woman Blues.' Substance wonders if she's going to follow Michael Kiwanuka's lead.

Substance caught up with Valerie at Bestival this year after Sunday Best had reportedly scrabbled across the Atlantic to sign her. She played a handful of great shows across the festival, accompanied by baseball-style hotdog vendors handing out records. Getcha LPs, getcha EPs. Look at their homepage and she's everywhere. Obviously someone thinks she’s going to go big.
 
So do we. Earlier this year we featured Valerie in a list of jazz, soul and blues artists set to fill the gap left by Amy Winehouse who might just blow up. Kiwanuka has definitely arrived. So who’s next?
 
British fans might not immediately go in for full-blown southern Americana, but Valerie manages to nod and wink at everyone from the Delta blues dirge of Junior Kimbrough; Nick Drake, Tracey Chapman, Mississippi John Hurt; Joni Mitchell guitar-style and Buffy Sainte-Marie vocals with loads of 21st-century intrigue: her voice is as individual and esoteric as they come in a time when people like Amy and Alt-J are remembered first of all for their vocals.
 

 


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