Not many acts sport an organ as a key instrument in their line-up, but Grace Potter and the Nocturnals manage to do it with real panache. Hailing from Vermont, this quartet pushes out a soulful / bluesy / rock and roll sound that is hard not to tap your toes to. The group is headed up by Grace Potter, whose voice, a well balanced blend of Aretha Franklin and Norah Jones, conveys more experience and wisdom than her 22 year of age would suggest. All of the songs on Nothing But the Water, the second album of the group's career, were written by Grace and display lyrics that are thoughtful and meaningful. Not content using a typical recording studio, the band decided to record this album at Goddard College's Haybarn theater while staying in a vacant building across from the barn. "Living so close allowed us to act upon our inspirations and over the course of the week we found plenty of time to forget our troubles and forget ourselves...sometimes we even forgot we were being recorded. We hope is sounds like it."
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - Treat Me Right : Nothing But the Water
This first track does a nice job of showing how Grace intertwines her Hammond B-3 Organ below her lyrics. The song's a plaintive demand for some love and repect (R-E-S-P-E-C-T as Aretha would spell it out for us).
Aretha Franklin - Respect : I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - Nothing But the Water (I) : Nothing But the Water
In my opinion, from an album of many good songs, this is the best. No other track does as wonderful a job at showcasing Grace's soulful voice. This song is 100% pure blues, no doubt about it. If you are wondering what the (I) is after the title, there is a (II) on the album with some funky 70's style R&B musical accompanymant to Grace's voice.
If you are a New Englander, Grace and company are touring in September. I'm hoping to see them on the 20th and will report back. Make sure to catch them when they visit your town.
September 3rd Shelburne, VT
September 10th Fall River, MA
September 12th World Cafe Live: Philadelphia, PA
September 13th New York, NY
September 14th Baltimore, MD
September 16th Telluride, CO
September 20th Northampton, MA
September 21st Woodstock, NY
September 27th New Haven, CT
For more information, visit:
BONUS Organ rocking tracks:
Led Zeppelin - Your Time Is Gonna Come : Led Zeppelin I
The Blues Brothers (with Ray Charles) - Shake a Tail Feather : Blues Brothers [Original Soundtrack]