Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Self Titled (2010)


Written by Bill Whiting – [email protected]

Opening with the hard edged drive of the radio ready “Paris (OOH LA LA),” the self titled album from the Vermont based unit, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, takes the road hardened veterans in new directions that are openly accessible to the casual listener. Potter has steadily built up a dedicated following with her improvised blues based standards. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals retains a strong compositional framework as the ensemble dives into a tighter soul oriented pop music landscape via the hook laden explorations of “Medicine” and “Goodbye Kiss.” Bassist Catherine Popper and drummer Matthew Burr provide a propulsive, interlocked rhythm structure on the wailing workout, “Tiny Light.” Scott Tournet’s sinewy guitar licks add color and depth to the Eastern flavored “Oasis,” and party anthem, “Hot Summer Night.” Potter, however, is the main attraction, and she wields her instrumental prowess on keyboards and projecting vocal attack with brute force on the short but sweet track “Only Love,” and the condensed rocker, “Money.” Produced by Mark Batson and mixed by Andrew Scheps, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals elevates the quintet to rarefied heights that recall the best of Stax and Motown.