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GLIDE MAGAZINE: VALERIE JUNE’S COUNTRY-SOUL CHARMS AND CAPTIVATES IN PORTLAND (SHOW REVIEW)

JUNE 6, 2017 by Valerie June

When a singer-songwriter by the name of Valerie June first garnered attention with the 2010 release of an EP called Valerie June and The Tennessee Express, those lucky enough to hear it were blown away by this completely unique talent. Her captivating vocals and rootsy blend of folk, blues, country and soul truly shined when she released her full-length Pushin’ Against a Stone in 2013. Now it’s 2017 and June has seemingly caught on with everyone, as was evidenced by the sold out crowd at Portland’s Aladdin Theater on Saturday, June 3rd.

While June has spent much of her career touring solo and she can definitely blow minds when it’s just her and her guitar, with her talented band she becomes an entirely new artist. With the instrumental heavy lifting in the hands of her band, she transformed from a singer-songwriter into a powerful, charismatic front woman shimmering in bright clothing. For her set in Portland, June mostly jumped between her Dan Auerbach-produced LP Pushin’ Against a Stone and her latest effort The Order of Time. Whereas Stone was more rooted in Memphis soul and rock and roll, The Order of Time steers closer to a folk and country-soul vein. Together, the songs contrasted nicely. With banjo in hand, June and her band jumped into the bluesy “Man Done Wrong” before sliding into the thick retro soul groove of “The Hour” and keeping a similar mood with the slow burning R&B tune “Love You Once Made”. Things would soon kick up with the funky organ and heavy stomp of “Shakedown”, a song that easily got the crowd dancing up close to the stage.

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