“Friendship” By Valerie June (Feat. Carla Thomas and Stax Music Academy)

"Friendship" By Valerie June (Feat. Carla Thomas and Stax Music Academy). The track is now available via Stax streaming services
"Friendship" By Valerie June (Feat. Carla Thomas and Stax Music Academy)

Valerie June has shared “Friendship” (Feat. Carla Thomas and Stax Music Academy). The song, which originally appeared on Pop Staples’ posthumas LP, 2015’ Don’t Lose This (produced by Jeff Tweedy and Mavis Staples), celebrates unconditional love, the eternal promise of true friendship. For this new version, in celebration of her hero Mavis Staples’ upcoming 85th birthday, June enlisted another close friend and mentor, Stax soul legend Carla Thomas as well as the talented students at Stax Music Academy.

Valerie June on Friendship (Feat. Carla Thomas and Stax Music Academy): “Without Mavis and Carla, the students would not have the Stax Music Academy or the rich legacy they’ve paved for the community to thrive through educating the next generation of musicians. The song was unreleased while Pops Staples was alive. To have a dear friend like Carla sing it in celebration of another queen—Mavis—is a full circle gift.”

Produced by June and recorded at Stax Music Academy in Memphis, TN, Friendship (Feat. Carla Thomas and Stax Music Academy) closely follows the release of High Note (Feat. Stax Music Academy), a song that she wrote specifically for Mavis, shared just last week. It also marks the second time June and Thomas have worked together.

Founded in 2000, Stax Music Academy was established to further the legacy of Stax by nurturing the next generation of great Soul Communicators from the greater Soulsville region. An after-school and summer music institute located adjacent to the Stax’s original home in Memphis, TN, (now the Stax Museum of American Soul Music), Stax Music Academy prepares students to excel and impact the world through the universal language of music.

June’s album The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers follows Pushin’ Against A Stone, The Order of Time—a 2017 record that earned the admiration of Bob Dylan, and Under Cover, her 2022 covers EP which features interpretations of songs by Frank Ocean, John Lennon, Nick Cave, Gillian Welch, Bob Dylan, Joe South, Nick Drake and Mazzy Star. June’s version of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You.”

Order “Friendship” HERE


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