So yesterday was one of the best days of my life: I randomly saw an ad for Valerie June one of my favorite singers of all time, while taking the tram to my university. There she was, performing that evening in Lyon, at L’epicerie moderne ! As soon as I had a glimpse of that ad, I bought a ticket to see her concert.
Usually, people go to concerts with friends, with family, with a date. I went alone and it was pretty awesome.
Listen you guys, I have never loved a singer as much as the Beatles before. And here it goes… Valerie June has become, second to the Beatles, my favorite singer ever. Her voice is so unique: she has this cute scratchy bluegrass voice with a mix of country, soul and even gospel. Plus, she plays the ukelele, which she calls her ‘baby’.
Yesterday, right before the concert started, I was having a drink before getting in line. And I saw Valerie June, wearing sunglasses right in front of me. She was probably looking to see how many people turned up, and she probably didn’t want to be recognizable. But Valerie June is recognized anywhere with her glorious curly dreadlocks. I was so shocked, I froze. I should have just gone up to her, but I was too shy for that.
She sang my favorite songs throughout her concert: “Workin’ Woman“, “Somebody to Love” and “The Hour“. Her lyrics are so honest, and I feel like they’re speaking right to me, as if she’s telling me she understands me perfectly. In complete awe, I stood there, watching Valerie June in the spotlight sing to me. She was actually singing to me. She was talking to the audience as if each one of us was the only person in the room.
I had to leave early, because I had an exam in the morning, but I cannot stop thinking about her music. Her voice, her smile, her ukelele, her guitar strumming, her laugh, is stuck in my head.
So, as a gift from Valerie June to me, to you, here’s her recent album that you must listen to, Pushin’ Against a Stone (2013). I challenge you to play every single song and not be mesmerized.