Memphis born singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Valerie June performed live at the SXSW Radio Day Stage in Austin. If you have never heard Valerie June perform, I can best describe her music as a combination of primordial gospel, blues, country, bluegrass and folk music. During her set on the Radio Day Stage, she described her song creation process as one that is as varied as her many styles. She said that her songs come to her in many difference voices… sometimes the voice of a small child, sometimes the voice of a wizened woman.
When a small child or a wizened woman speaks people pause to listen. Valerie June caused everyone in attendance at the SXSW Radio Day stage to do just that: stop, listen and enjoy. She held the crowd in a trance as she entered into each song and held us until the final strum of the strings on her guitar and banjo. Even though we were in the air conditioned confines of the Austin Convention Center, I could easily imagine sitting in an open field in the Appalachian mountains listening to Valerie June and her music.
Valerie June’s latest album The Order of Time was released just before SXSW. It was a pleasure hearing her performed songs from this sophomore album.
Valerie June SXSW Radio Day Stage Audio
Audio courtesy of 90.7 WVFU.
Valerie June, ‘Astral Plane’
Valerie June also performed as part of NPR’s South X Lullaby series. This series captures performers during the quiet after hours of SXSW at a private location.
You can hear more of Valerie June on Spotify. Take a listen and add her to your music library.