Valerie June | photo by Tiana Timmerberg for WXPN

I think Valerie June may be my new inspiration in life. During her Free at Noon performance, June exuded an infectious presence that was at once completely commanding and saucy, yet still undeniably sweet and quirky.  Naturally connecting with the packed crowd, June possesses a quality that somehow makes each individual feel like they’re her best friend.

Donning a long, twirly skirt and huge retro, cat-eye sunglasses, June’s versatility shown through the back-and-forth of folky soul jams, such as the gritty single, “Shakedown,” to the quiet, heartfelt pieces  “Astral Plane” and “Two Hearts.”  During “Two Hearts,” the newest single from June’s much-awaited sophomore album, The Order of Time, she could not keep from beaming as she dreamily whirled around to the delicate melody.

June and her eclectic eight-piece band ended the set with my personal favorite, “Got Soul,” a hand-clapping, twang-gospel-funk tune backed by the incredibly necessary trumpet and sax ensemble.  Returning for a highly-demanded encore, June closed out the show with the ominously sassy “Workin’ Woman Blues,” which served as the perfect encapsulation to her soft stylings and independent, edgy blend.

Catch a double whammy of Valerie June greatness by seeing her Friday, March 10th at The Trocadero Theatre, while also streaming her new album, The Order of Time, which is released on the same day.  More info about tickets can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Check out photos from the set below.

Man Done
Love You Once
Astral Plane
If And
Slip Slide
Two Hearts
Got Soul
Workin’ Woman Blues