Sound Scene Express

TRAF Showered with Inspiration from Valerie June

Photos and re-cap by Whitney Lerch

With Three Rivers Arts Fest in full swing, people packed shoulder to shoulder at the point and the dark, ominous skies moving in, Valerie June hit the Dollar Bank Main Stage for a truly inspiration performance.  Her free spirit and open heart are truly infectious and simply being in her presence will bring a calming sense of freedom over you. in fact, almost the second she started singing, those ominous skies lightened and nary a single drop of rain ever hit the crowd.

Donned in a teal sequined skirt, a fluttery, shimmering top and a rotation of string instruments including electric and acoustic guitars, a banjo and “Baby”, the banjo ukulele, she serenaded Pittsburgh with an upbeat collection of songs of the folk, blues, bluegrass and gospel variety.  It’s difficult to categorize Valerie June’s music as a specific genre, as her songs cross genres and are truly the child of all of the world’s inspiration, that so many of us let pass us by.  Among others, she graced us with Astral Plane, You Can’t Be Told and Workin Woman Blues.  The songs were peppered with stories of Valerie’s life, how her music is given to her and her love of Pittsburgh.  If fact, there was even talk of her entertaining the idea of moving to the Steel City…if only we could be so lucky!


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About The Author

Whitney Lerch

I've always loved music and there's nothing better than live music. There is just something so special about experiencing the music for yourself and feeling the passion that comes with a live performance. So, when I got into photography several years back, it only made sense to merge two of my favorite things in life. With no formal training, I bought myself a decent camera, after getting frustrated with the sub-par images I was getting with my point and shoot. I headed out and started wasn't pretty at first, but I fumbled my way through, did some google and YouTube searches and taught myself how to use my new favorite toy. I started out taking photos at concerts on my own, any time a venue would let my DSLR in to a show, but I wanted more and I wanted my photos to mean something. Sound Scene Express offers me that and offers so much to the local music scene in Pittsburgh. With all of the unbelievable musical talent in the city, as well as all of the great touring musicians that come through, I'm honored to be able to capture moments from some of the best performances you'll find in the city, to share with the community. I spend my days practicing medicine, taking care of some incredibly sick kids and Sound Scene Express has offered me truly therapeutic outlet that I am passionate about and thankful for. There are some unbelievably talented musicians here in Pittsburgh and I'm thrilled that I get to help share their work with you all!