On Wednesday, Nov. 15, the atmospheric Sixth & I Historic Synagogue is hosting what promises to be a unique event: An Evening of Music with Valerie June, Rachael Davis, Thao, and Yasmin Williams. The artists came together at the prestigious Ann Arbor Folk Fest for a performance that combined songs in a kaleidoscope array of styles with conversations among these four very talented women. They’ll be playing songs and swapping stories at Sixth & I in a Nashville-style round format.
Grammy nominee Valerie June is widely regarded as one of the leading young artists in the Americana genre. She got on the map with her first album, Pushin’ Against A Stone in 2013, which earned her an Emerging Artist award nomination from the Americana Music Association. Her work seems to just keep getting with each record, with her latest album of original songs, The Moon and the Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers, widely considered her strongest work yet. Valerie June is one of those artists that seem to do it all; in addition to being a musician, she’s also a poet, illustrator, author and actor. The New York Times has called her one of the “most intriguing, fully formed new talents.”
For two of the four artists on the bill, Thao and Yasmin Williams, this show brings them back to their hometown. Both grew up in Northern Virginia. On her own and with her band, The Get Down, Thao has released severely widely-praised albums and has been featured by The New York Times, NPR, Austin City Limits, Pitchfork, and The Washington Post. She was also the subject of a PBS documentary about her trip to Vietnam as the daughter of refugees who fled to the United States during the war.
Listed by Pitchfork as one of “25 New and Rising Artists Shaping the Future of Music in 2023,” Yasmin Williams plays acoustic fingerstyle guitar in her own unique way. She came to the instrument by an unusual path: the Guitar Hero video game. She released her first EP, which she recorded and mixed herself, while still in high school. She released her first album, Unwind, in 2017, and the follow-up, Urban Driftwood, was praised by The New York Times, Pitchfork, and Rolling Stone. She’s a bit of an NPR favorite, having appeared on Weekend Edition and the Tiny Desk Concert series.
Watch the official music video for “Dawning” by Yasmin Williams on YouTube:
A unique artist, Rachael Davis describes her music as “Motown Banjo.” She’s been making and recording music for more than 20 years. After relocating from her native Michigan to Boston in 2001, where she busked in the subway and won the Boston Music Award for Best New Singer/Songwriter. A multi-instrumentalist who pushes the boundaries of the folk genre, her stunning voice is bound to sweep you off your feet.
This evening promises you excellent value for your entertainment dollar: you get four artists for the price of one, in one of the city’s most charming venues. It’s not be to missed!
An Evening of Music with Valerie June, Rachael Davis, Thao, Yasmin Williams
Sixth & I
Wednesday, Nov. 15
Doors @ 7pm