SOUTHWEST THE MAGAZINE: The Lyrical Genius of Valerie June

MARCH 31, 2017 by Valerie June

“Looky khan” needed to tell people about the first time he heard Valerie June’s voice. He had to thank her. So on the YouTube page for “Somebody to Love,” the bluegrass-inflected lullaby from Valerie’s 2013 album Pushin’ Against a Stone, looky khan tells the story. He was in the car with his dad, who has Alzheimer’s and dementia, and his dad was getting disgruntled with the long journey home. When this song came warbling through the radio, looky khan’s dad suddenly fell silent to “appreciate her angelic voice,” he wrote.

A magical three minutes, but no telling if his dad would recall them. One night later on, they were out on the veranda together, and looky khan’s dad turned to him and asked if he could put “that song” on. Looky khan knew precisely the one. They sat there listening with the rain crashing down, and it was so sublime that looky khan says he’ll remember that moment for as long as he lives.  Read more here.