Grace Potter And The Nocturnals
Grace Potter And The Nocturnals recorded a spooky, yet fairly faithful, cover of Jefferson Airplane's epic classic "White Rabbit" for "Almost Alice," the soundtrack album to Tim Burton's '10 film, Alice In Wonderland. The track was a departure for a band known for Blues-leaning Alt. Country.
A former St. Lawrence University student, the Vermont-based Potter released "Original Soul" in '04. Another indie release, "Nothing But The Water" was issued a year later. Hollywood Records signed the band and re-issued "Nothing But The Water" which earned an '06 Jammy for 'Best New Groove' at the Boston Music Awards.
Two ballads, "Apologies" and "Falling Or Flying," from the '07 album "This Is Somewhere," landed in a number of TV shows ranging from ABC's Grey's Anatomy to daytime's All My Children. The band made the usual late night TV rounds but also managed an appearance on ABC's Good Morning America.
At the '09 Bonnaroo Music Festival Grace Potter And The Nocturnals performed their own set and also joined Gov't Mule, a band they had opened for, onstage. While Moe played, Potter and the band replaced Moe members one-by-one before reversing the process.
A planned album with the legendary producer T-Bone Burnett didn't pan out, so Grace Potter And The Nocturnals recorded their 13-track self-titled effort with Mark Batson.
"This record is the first time it's really been us — the first time we've all found each other and ourselves," said Potter of the '10 release. "In my mind, an album shouldn't be self-titled unless it feels that way." Producer Mark Batson (Dave Matthews Band) co-wrote six of the 13 songs with Potter and the band, which now included bassist Catherine Popper (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals) and rhythm guitarist Benny Yurco.
"We realized we're not the kind of band that's ever gonna fit neatly in one genre, and this time we just let the songs be the songs," added Potter. "You have to either want to dance to it or cry to it. But there's also a feistiness to these songs that's completely unapologetic." "Tiny Light," was the lead single.
2005 Nothing But The Water
2007 This Is Somewhere
2010 Grace Potter And The Nocturnals
2012 The Lion The Beast The Beat
Grace Potter works the same fertile field as Susan Tedeschi (vocalist and spouse of guitarist Derek Trucks). And like Tedeschi, Potter's Blues/Soul laced vocals can be intimate or fiery. It's interesting that the two New England woman sound like they were born Georgia.
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals' self-titled album blends '70s ergo-Rock, Blues and R&B. Potter's vocals have been compared to Tina Turner, and it's most evident on the straight-ahead Rock N' Roll track, "Hot Summer Night," the album's most euphoric effort. More often though, Potter moves from sultry ("One Short Night") to sassy ("Only Love"). While she is easily, and deservingly, the main attraction, it's not a one woman show. The band gets down and dirty on the opener "Paris (Ooh La La)" and Bluesy for "That Phone." There's no fall-off as they roll into the dark yet sensuous "Medicine," the R&B flavored "Money" and the boisterous "Tiny Light."
Potter sounds great on "Original Soul" but the production comes up short. That problem is remedied on "Nothing But The Water" and "This Is Somewhere." "Some Kind Of Ride" and the Country Rock "Sweet Hands" lead the former and "Mastermind," "Ain't No Time" and "Mr. Columbus" highlight the latter.