‘All We Need is Music’

Valerie June honored to be part of Palomino Festival
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Renata Raks/Submitted

Singer-songwriter Valerie June is looking forward to the July 9 Palomino Festival because, after all, “all we need is music, live music.”

“The quarantine wasn’t too bad,” she says. “I’m a loner. It was just me and my plants. I was in Tennessee for half, New York for the rest of it.”

She honed her musical skills during the pandemic to fulfill her need for music. All of this will be reflected in her Palomino set.

“I try to leave everyone levitating out the doors or off the stage,” June says. 

“It’s very uplifting, and hopefully fans feel deep emotions — like joyful — and use that joy as a positive form of activism.”

She says her “joyful” shows are exactly what fans — and the world — need these days. 

“I really feel like so many artists are trying to do that and put that energy out there,” she says. “Every day we’re faced with more drama, and all of us are tired of it. How do we create more joy and gentleness in our day? We’re figuring it out. I don’t have the answers.”

The Grammy-nominated singer is set to release “Under Cover,” an eight-song covers collection, on Friday, Aug. 26. 

“Under Cover” features interpretations of Frank Ocean’s “Godspeed,” Joe South’s “Don’t It Make You Want to Go Home,” Gillian Welch’s “Look At Miss Ohio,” and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ “Into My Arms.” 

The EP also includes two tracks that appeared on June’s (digital only) “The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers” deluxe edition: John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon.” 

Rounding out the track list are a rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You” (previously available as an Amazon Original exclusive) and June’s previously released reading of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You.” 

“I didn’t think it was possible for me to even release one album,” she says. “The whole experience of being who I am now and doing what I’m doing is a dream fulfilled. It’s an example of how to manifest a dream. At this level, it’s quite something. I say to myself, ‘Where do I want to go from here?’ I try to live in a dream state all the time. Dreams are never totally fulfilled. There’s always another dream to fulfill.”

She’ll perform some of these songs at Palomino, an event she’s excited about. 

“The whole lineup is amazing,” she says. “Charley Crockett, I haven’t seen him live yet. I haven’t seen Kacey Musgraves, and she’s been huge for years. Being in the same space as Willie Nelson is great. I haven’t seen him perform for a long time. It’s a really nice event. I’m honored to be invited.”

Palomino Festival 

WHEN: Noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, July 9

WHERE: Brookside at the Rose Bowl,
1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena

COST: General admission starts at $179 plus fees,
while VIP passes are $399 plus fees

INFO: palominopasadena.com

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