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  • Carl Beust

Valerie June at The Republik 11-20-17

A small but energetic crowd welcomed Valerie June and her band to Honolulu, Hawaii. This was Ms. June’s first visit to Hawaii coming off the heels of a three night performance in Tokyo, Japan.

From a row of stringed instruments Ms. June reached for her “baby”, a ukulele banjo, and started in on the song “Somebody To Love” The eclectic singer grabbed the crowd’s attention immediately. Instantaneously the crowd was introduced to Valerie June’s taffy-thick Tennessee drawl. One of the most distinct vocalists in music, June’s voice recalls the timeless quality of Billy Holiday, Dolly Parton, and Tina Turner.

The nearly 90-minute set contained a stunning range of styles, moods, and vibes. She played a mix of songs from her breakout album from 2013 “Pushin’ Against A Stone” – “The Hour”, “Tennessee Time”, “Workin’ Woman Blues” – and selections from her latest album “The Order Of Time” like the guitar driven hip shaker “Shakedown” and the handclapping rhythm of “You Can’t Be Told”.

Midway through the concert something happened you will only see in Hawaii. The performer got lei-ed onstage. A number of flower leis were passed to the front and given to June. The gesture totally surprised her she was gushing with thanks. June buried her head in the flowers and told the crowd how much she loved plants and how the plants and flowers of the islands were so overwhelming. Valerie June then sauntered to center stage, placed the leis on the microphone and continued with favorites “With You”, Astral Plane”, and “Can’t Be Told” to end the set .

As the band returned to the stage, Valerie June was presented with a tropical bouquet of flowers. In her wonderful Tennessee twang, she asked if” everyone had these things growing in their backyards?” Ms. June, in actuality we do! The encore consisted of four songs which mixed country, blues, gospel and folk. The show ended with “Got Soul” a banjo driven rocker and a driving beat which had the audience and June sang the chorus in unison. Afterwards, Valerie June came out to talk to fans, sign autographs, and take selfies. With her incredible vocals, lyrics and instrumentation she transported Honolulu, Hawaii to the Deep South for an evening.


1. Somebody To Love

2. Tennessee Time

3. Front Door

4. Man Done Wrong

5. The Hour

6. Love You Once Made

7. Shakedown

8. Trainfare

9. Two Hearts

10. Slip Slide On Bye

11. With You

12. Astral Plane

13. You Can’t Be Told


If And

Workin’ Woman Blues

Lonely For So Long

Got Soul

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