Grace Potter & the Nocturnals: This Is Somewhere
One of the points that I have tried to make with the music that I feature on the Bus, is the incredibly diverse musical roots that have intermingled to form the better music of today. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals have made that same journey, only they have compressed decades of musical growth into just a few short years.
A few months ago I posted a video of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (GPTN) performing ”Stop the Bus” live at Red Rocks. At that time I had the following to say:
“The band seems to be paralleling the development of the music they play and love. Their first CD, Original Soul, was deeply rooted in the blues with soulful songs and sparse but powerful instrumentation, as was the classic rock music itself. The second CD, Nothing But The Water, built on the basis of Original Soul and blended in some of the sounds, feeling, and awe that was present in those classic albums of Led Zepplin, Traffic, King Crimson, the Doors, Jefferson Airplane, et al., that defined a generation. Grace and the Nocturnals have continued to evolve in the nearly two years since their last studio release. Their skills as songwriters and arrangers, already sharp and mature beyond their years, are being honed to a fine edge.”
After two years of nearly continuous touring, GPTN have completed their new release. This Is Somewhere continues the journey as these young folks continue to build upon their sturdy foundation. The recording opens with the political call to action, "Ah, Mary” and is immediately followed by the hard driving Stop The Bus”. ”Apologies” is a piano lament with the love-as-war theme, and reminds me that GPTN were once the darlings of the modern jazz and blues scene. ”Ain’t No Time” is a beautiful paean to the plight of New Orleans. The acoustic, folksy, jazz-blues of ”You May See Me” and ”Lose Some Time” showcase Grace Potter’s superb songwriting as well as her voice, that has drawn comparisons to Nora Jones, Lucinda Williams, and Bonnie Raitt. With the soulful, horn-accented ”Mastermind” GPTN rival anything to come out of Memphis or Muscle Shoals. “Here’s To The Meantime” is hardcore, electric guitar-driven, roadhouse blues. The CD closes with ”Big White Gate”, an incredible testament to Potter’s powerful songwriting, bound to draw comparisons to Bonnie Raitt and Rory Block.
As with the first two releases from GPTN, This Is Somewhere has earned a place in permanent rotation on my CD player.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are scheduled to appear on West Virginia Public Radio's "Mountain Stage", June 24th. Check your local NPR station for air time.
This Is Somewhere is scheduled to be on your local record store’s shelves August 7th. You can pre-order a signed copy at www.gracepotterandthenocturnals.com.
Mark your calendar. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals This Is Somewhere is an essential addition to any roots-rock, jazz, blues, and jam band collection.