Wednesday, 15 May 2013

VALERIE JUNE

Live Review

Glee Club, Birmingham

Valerie June from Tennessee professes to an eclectic mix of influences from Billie Holiday to Van Morrison and from Dolly Parton to The Beatles and it comes out in her music and singing, so much so it’s often difficult to know what to make of her as a performer.

Valerie June has a great range
You have to give her admiration for the fact she is a self-taught musician, undoubtedly naturally talented and her voice does have an incredible range with which she hit the sold out audience at the Glee right from her first blues number, Trouble.
When she sings at the bottom end of her range her voice, is deep, soulful, velvety, emotive and a real pleasure to hear, however when she hits the top end the power overtakes the quality and the screechy high frequency becomes almost white noise which no doubt has the ability to bring down aeroplanes.
She slowed down to the ballad Twined and Twisted but again at the high end filled the room with ease but it was most of the time unintelligible.
Love Told a Lie, was the best song which really gave a better indication of how good her voice can be. She filled the torch song with emotion and her clear tones carried over the audience in waves. For Shotgun June pulled out the slide guitar and with the unusual addition of a female drummer went into a frenzy of crazy blues which sounded more like the grizzled Seasick Steve than the demure songstress on the stage.
Throughout the set she incorporated good ‘ol country, heavy blues and funk and even a smattering of gospel sound and when she brought her voice down to the level of human hearing she was awesome but when she took it up into the rafters it was time to make sure you weren’t near anything which frightened easily.