As we count down to the impossibly-long wait to the release date of June 8th for Grace Potter & The Nocturnals self-titled album, the band is releasing a series of YouTube videos of a series of acoustic versions of some of the songs off the album– one per week starting with the album closer “Things I Never Needed “.
These videos were recorded on a Friday afternoon near San Diego, and the video for “Things I Never Needed” shows an impressive ability for Grace and the band to launch into song– at least it looks like they just decided on the spot to do the song. Some of the videos will be from this “unplugged” session and some of the videos will be from the cool black and white footage shot of the Burlington Waterfront show where the “White Rabbit” video was shot.
Grace and Co. also shot a video for the first single from Grace Potter & The Nocturnals— the smoldering to raging fire track “Tiny Light.” This song kicks off with a Bonnie Raitt-ish midtempo song and builds to an all-stops-out explosive conclusion. This is a video worth watching.
Click Here to go to the official Grace Potter & The Nocturnals YouTube Channel where you can subscribe to be notified when new videos arrive.
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals is scheduled to release on June 8th. You can pre-order from Amazon.com
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!)
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
The last couple of weeks finds Grace Potter fans with a couple of digital releases to tide them over until the new album comes out next year. Last week had an abbreviated set on Daytrotter for download, and today– just in time for Christmas– we have an iTunes Exclusive 6-track live EP called Live in Skowhegan which was recorded on June 28th of this year at the Skowhegan Opera House in Skowhegan, Maine.
Clocking in at 35 minutes and 6 tracks, we get a pretty good picture if you will of a Grace Potter and the Nocturnals show. I would have liked to get more of the show, but for $4.99 it is well worth it just for these tracks. We get two new songs in “Can’t See Through” and the extended, bluesy “Sugar” in addition to three tracks from Somewhere and “Ragged Company” from Nothing But The Water.
If you got an iTunes card for Christmas, this might be a good way to spend part of it.
1. Ragged Company (5:22)
2. Stop the Bus (7:45)
3. Apologies (5:35)
4. Ah Mary (4:32)
5. Can’t See Through (4:48)
6. Sugar (6:50)
This session at Daytrotter had been scheduled for a long time– at least dating back to February that I can remember but weather and sickness seemed to delay it. Finally, in November they made the stop since they were in town again playing the Redstone room with Backyard Tire Fire in support. I had planned to see the show but some work stuff came up and I had to back out. At this point I probably won’t get a chance to see Grace and Co. again until the Spring after they have finished recording the follow up to the very successful This is Somewhere.
Since Somewhere’s 2007 release the band seems to have toured everywhere both as headliner and as supporting act– frequently with Gov’t Mule it seems who has taken Grace in as a little sister.
So, it seems that Daytrotter have captured the band at a time when they have had enough touring to bring an off-the-cuff recording the spark of why they are so popular live. It will be interesting to see what 2009 brings for the band.
The session has three songs (with file names that would imply they recorded two more…). Daytrotter says that all three are “unreleased” but the raucus show stopper “Paris” aka “If I Was from Paris” was actually recorded for Somewhere and has been available via iTunes as a bonus track. Also recorded was a somewhat atypically dark song in the Stones classic “Paint it Black” and a lengthy jam of what I assume is a new song “Watching You.”
Click Here for Grace Potter and the Nocturnal’s website
Click Here for the Grace Potter and the Nocturnal’s Daytrotter session where you can read an article about the band and session as well as stream or download the three tracks.
No one can accuse Grace Potter and the Nocturnals for not doing enough to promote themselves. They are touring constantly both as a headliner and as a supporting act for bands like The Black Crowes and frequently Gov’t Mule as well as hitting most of the festivals.
One really cool gig Grace and Co. got was a seven-song set at the Legendary Sun Studio in Memphis which was videotaped and will be posted over time as part of series on blip.tv called “Sun Studio Sessions.” “Sun Studio Sessions” gives up-and-coming acts an opportunity to record in the birthplace of recorded Rock and Roll.
The inaugural episode of this series was Grace and the Nocturnals performing the Rock and Blues standard “Mystery Train” originally recorded at Sun in 1953 by Junior Parker and later covered by Elvis Presley. So far three songs have been posted from the band, “Mystery Train,” “Outta My Tree,” and “Night Rolls On.” It’s cool to see some of the studio banter as the band works out how they want to perform each song. I’d really love it if there would be a DVD or even an album released with these sessions on it! Or, maybe even a Sun-Labeled EP or set of singles?!?! Sorry, my inner-collector got out for a minute.
So, interspersed between the other artists who have recorded sessions, we’ll get the remaining four songs so stay tuned.