I owe a lot to Bob Dylan, especially the music I’ve learned about from him. And that’s exactly how I learned about Valerie June. In a 2017 interview, Bob Dylan was asked what artists he listened to and respected: June was among the three artists he mentioned in reply (This is not that article, but one where June gives her response to it). With that little introduction, Valerie June has been in my life ever since.
Around the same time as Dylan was talking about her, Rolling Stone magazine named June’s second album The Order of Time (album) one of The 50 Best Albums of 2017, citing “her handsomely idiosyncratic brand of Americana, steeped deep in electric blues and old-time folk, gilded in country twang and gospel yearning….a blend of spacey hippie soul, blues and folk with June’s pinched, modern-Appalachian voice at the center”.
That 2017 album, Order of Time rounds out with Got Soul, a sweet, melodic, mood-booster. It’s like June is sending us on our way out into the big wide world with a kiss on the forehead.
This is the part of the article where I was going to tell you to see her live, but unless you’re planning on being in Punta Cana at the end of February, you’re out of luck for the time being. Her live performances are filled with love, and hope and laughter. You leave wanting to be a sparklier, more eccentric version of yourself.
- If you loved this single, you should start The Order of Time from track one and listen all the way through. Then head over to Pushin’ Against a Stone (2013).
- I Need Never Get Old by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats has a similar upbeat, but easy going vibe.
- Ten Little Kids by The Jayhawks is the closer on Tomorrow the Green Grass. Like Got Soul, it leaves to you feeling better than when you arrived.
Incidentally, Bob Dylan is on a long overdue US tour right now. If you see him, say hello.
Got Soul by Valerie June 2017