I have a sister who says, “cute is for puppies” whenever someone uses that word to describe her. But for some reason, I can’t find any other word to describe Valerie June’s energy and presence as she made her way onto the stage, following the BSO’s introduction to their next show which features compositions of the composer, Tchaikovsky. June truly has a mature innocence about the way she walks on stage. As she grabbed her banjo, I sat back in my seat and listened as her southern breath moistened the dry air, and drenched us in sounds of long, long, ago.
…I urge you all to get a ticket, grab a seat and experience the raw beauty and talent that is Valerie June.
Valerie June’s Voice is that of a tribal cry, a cry field with happy and weary tears. Her sultriness is as if the blues rippled across the decades to make its way into our fast-paced world we call the present, however, the beings here seldom ever are. Her cries are often about love and loneliness. LONELINESS. The dreadful word the prideful hate to admit and the weary often wallow in. LOVE. The enchanted word that can fill the heart with great joy but can also be the reason for great pain all at the same time. While the emotions that love and loneliness evoke will make its way to us in different ways and in due time her music evokes the revitalization of the weary soul with sound and reminders of love through her journey of creating sound. Her beliefs in the afterlife combined with her desire to be organically herself out loud, without restrictions, and absent of a filter, it is obvious throughout her entire performance.
As she shifts the space into a place of healing, her vocals are like a sigh of release in which the elephants in the room are acknowledged and with each cry she offers us an opportunity to embrace the bittersweetness that is life. This extremely gifted artist along with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra completely made my night and the next time she’s back in town I urge you all to get a ticket, grab a seat and experience the raw beauty and talent that is Valerie June.
Running Time: 105 minutes.
“Pulse: Valerie June with Members of the BSO” with members of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) was only on Sunday, March 22, 2018. For more information on Valerie June, click here. For more information on BSO, click here.