Grace Potter & The Nocturnals New Album Releasing on 6/8

photo credit: Adrien Broom

It seems like forever since the sophomore Grace Potter & The Nocturnals album This is Somewhere came out. In fact, in Internet and music blog years, August 2007 was forever ago! In my review of This is Somewhere, I observe that Grace Potter and her band were, “an earthy, honest, and grounded band excited for this opportunity to take their careers to the next level.”

In the over two years since the release of Somewhere, a lot has transpired for the band. They have been touring pretty much non-stop in supporting and headlining roles. They endured the replacement of original Nocturnal bass player Bryan Dondero with original Cardinals bass player Catherine Popper. They gained rhythm guitarist Benny Yurco as well. They’ve been in a bunch of live TV appearances and has played most of the big summer festivals over the years. They did a Daytrotter.com session and an iTunes EP of live tunes.

It’s clear that with all of this exposure and hard work the band has made it to that next level in my opinion. The band has a winning formula: hot lead singer with even hotter vocals as well as guitar and keyboard chops, a road-seasoned backing band and a strong sense of identity as a band.

On June 8th, Hollywood Records is releasing Grace Potter & The Nocturnals. The cover art above is a slightly retro take of the band with a brightly lit Grace taken by photographer Adrien Broom. Adrien toured with Grace Potter and has a very cool album of shots he took of the band. The album is produced by Mark Batson who also co-wrote six of the thirteen tracks with Grace Potter. Batson’s résumé includes work with Dr. Dre, Eminem, Jay-Z as well as Dave Matthews, so clearly the band (and label) is bringing in a big gun producer– an investment for the success of the album for certain. Part of the delay of this album was due to scrapping work that had started with T-Bone Burnett in May of 2009.

Track Listing for Grace Potter & The Nocturnals with Archive.org links to recent live performances of the songs (build your own!)

1. Paris (Live at the Wescott 1/21/10)
2. Oasis (Live at the Wescott 1/21/10)
3. Medicine (Live at the Wescott 1/21/10)
4. Goodbye Kiss (Live at the Wescott 1/21/10)
5. Tiny Light (Live at Island Exodus 1/18/10)
6. Colors (Live at Island Exodus 1/18/10)
7. Only Love (Live at Island Exodus 1/18/10)
8. Money (Live at the Wescott 1/21/10)
9. One Short Night (Live at Higher Ground 12/28/09)
10. Low Road (Live at the Wescott 1/21/10)
11. That Phone (Live at Bonnaroo 6/12/09)
12. Hot Summer Night (Live at Higher Ground 12/28/09)
13. Things I Never Needed (Live at Higher Ground 12/26/09)

Grace does her best Grace Slick in this video of their cover of the Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” which is included in the soundtrack to Almost Alice which is a companion piece to the Danny Elfman score to the movie.

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals are going on tour, with a stop at the legendary Antone’s in Austin for SXSW.

March 11         North Adams, MA       Mass MoCa
March 12         Ridgefield, CT             Ridgefield Playhouse
March 13         Sugarloaf, ME             Sugarloaf Ski Resort
March 18         Austin, TX                   Antone’s – SXSW
March 21         Aspen, CO                  Snowmass Mountain
March 27         Jackson Hole, WY       Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
April 25           Phoenix, AZ                 McDowell Mountain Music Festival
May 14           Richmond, VA              Browns Island

Click Here to visit the Grace Potter & the Nocturnals Website

Click Here to visit the Grace Potter MySpace page

Backyard Tire Fire Proclaims It’s “Good To Be” with Steve Berlin-produced New Album

As we reported back in January, Bloomington, IL bar-rockers Backyard Tire Fire went into the studio with producer/member of Los Lobos Steve Berlin. The band announces that the new album will be called Good to Be and will be released on February 16th, 2010 on the band’s own record label Kelsey Street Records, and will be distributed by Thirty Tigers/SonyRed.

The band has put two songs from Good to Be up on their MySpace Page. The title track “Good to Be” I’ve heard performed live already and has the trademark Tire Fire sound. The other track is “Food For Thought” which showed up in their Daytrotter.com session. It is one of my favorite songs from that session. My first impression of the tracks is that Berlin didn’t really mess too much with the band’s sound, but I think I’m noticing some new reverbby guitar sounds that I don’t think existed on the other records.

Backyard Tire Fire released their last record The Places We Lived on vinyl– they have been very upfront about their desire to keep the recordings very analog. I’m hoping they continue the tradition with a vinyl release of Good to Be, too.

Tracklisting (with links to recent performances on archive.org — build your own Good to Be!):
1. Roadsong #39 (Live 10-17-09)
2. Ready or Not (Live 5-22-09)
3. Learning to Swim (Live 1-17-09)
4. Brady (Live 5-22-09)
5. Food for Thought (Live 5-17-09)
6. Estelle (Live 6-6-09)
7. Hell and Back (Live 4-11-09)
8. Good To Be (Live 10-17-09)
9. A Thousand Gigs Ago (Live 7-3-09)
10. Piss and Moan (Live 5-22-09)
11. Once Upon a Time

Click Here for Backyard Tire Fire’s Website

Click Here for Backyard Tire Fire’s MySpace Page

Click Here for Backyard Tire Fire’s Daytrotter session that also includes a version of “Food for Thought.”

Click Here to hear Backyard Tire Fire Live courtesy of archive.org

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