ACL Fest Review: Valerie June

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ACL Fest Review: Valerie June

Editor’s note: This article was originally published October 5, 2013

Right off the bat Tennessee native Valerie June’s ACL set was at a disadvantage. She played at the BMI stage across from the heavy bass and pounding drums from Haim’s set across the park. Unfortunately that drowned out her sweet voice, bluesy and soulful countrified folk for the first half of the show.

June belted out her introspective songs like “Tennessee Time” and “Somebody to Love,” often switching from guitar to banjo to ukelele. The uber talented rising star’s powerful voice could finally be heard after the Haim set, but June seemed serious, focused and slightly annoyed after that.

Fans, especially those up close, were still captivated by what she calls organic roots music. I’m not sure if the initial sound issues upset her, but she seemed slightly detached from the audience and some festgoers were commenting about that after the show. Perhaps it would have been better to have had her show at the Zilker Tent, where the space offers a little more intimacy.

There’s no denying June’s path to stardom, and hopefully she plays Austin again soon in a venue that’s set up just for her.

Read Valerie June’s thoughts on ACL weekend two in our scene report.

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