Music Reviews
Grace Potter and The Nocturnals

Grace Potter and The Nocturnals

This is Somewhere


From the first moments of This is Somewhere, as the subtle organ hums and gentle guitars lead you into the galvanizing chorus of the first track “Ah Mary,” Grace Potter and the Nocturnals waste no time guiding you down a path that only gets sweeter with each passing song. Splicing in a few mellower and introspective ballads, Grace Potter shows off her agile croon, reminding you of a younger Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin, able to resonate boldly at full force or delicately as a gentle whisper.

The gorgeous melding of gritty gospel blues and classic rock and roll anthems are perfect canvases for Potter’s lyrics that weave beautifully among the sharp and sleek muscular rhythms filled out and elevated by her supporting trio of Matt Burr (drums), Scott Tournet (guitar), and Bryan Dondero (bass).

In spring of 2007, prime time juggernauts American Idol and Grey’s Anatomy featured GP&N tunes prior to This is Somewhere’s fall release but even though the nationwide exposure didn’t hurt, the album and the group’s resilience to put on a solid live show is what put them in the national spotlight. And more importantly, GP&N have built their success on the strength of their live show as This is Somewhere is their third release. And when major labels offered deals when the band formed in 2003 in Vermont, the group turned them down and self-released their 2004 debut Original Soul and 2005 follow-up Nothing but the Water.

After experiencing the power of Potter and her Nocturnals’ live performance as headliners for Estrojam 2007 in Chicago, I have no doubts about the grass-roots buzz. Potter practiced what she preaches on “Falling or Flying,” and sang like every song was her last, sweeping the crowd off their feet and into a soulful frenzy, creating a transcendent atmosphere reminiscent of the final moments on the last track, “Big White Gates.”

Grace Potter and The Nocturnals:

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