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Author: Subject: Grace Potter Looks back on 2007- National TV Appearances and Opening For Gov't Mule

Zen Peach





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  posted on 12/28/2007 at 03:45 PM
quote:
http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2007122 7/ENT05/71226023/1005/ENT


By Brent Hallenbeck
Free Press Staff Writer
This year was a remarkable one for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Vermont’s most high-profile band released its major-label debut, “This Is Somewhere,” appeared on television shows including “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Good Morning America” and continued its exhaustive touring across the country and even in Japan.

That was nothing, according to Potter. Wait until you see what the new year has in store for her, drummer Matt Burr, guitarist Scott Tournet and bass player Bryan Dondero.

“2008’s our year. I’ve been saying that since 2000, before I met Matt and the band,” Potter said recently while chatting over hot chocolate in front of a blazing fire at Potterville, the family compound deep in the wilds of Waitsfield. It could be a matter of numerology, the year that Potter turns 25, or maybe it’s just the year those endless blues-rocking live shows in support of “This Is Somewhere” finally pay off.

“I think it’s the stars lining up,” Potter said.

When Potter looks back on 2007, she thinks not so much of “This Is Somewhere,” which peaked at 119 on the Billboard album charts after its Aug. 7 release by Hollywood Records. “I’m aiming higher than that,” she said. “Honestly, the record hasn’t done as well as we expected.” She also doesn’t focus on the national TV appearances, which she said album-sales-wise “did nothing for us, by the way.”

What Potter does think about when she looks back on 2007 — not surprisingly for such a road-tested band — is the Nocturnals’ further development as a live act. Local fans can catch a glimpse of that in the days leading up to New Year’s, when Grace Potter and the Nocturnals settle in for a three-night stand Friday, Saturday and Monday at Higher Ground.

“It’s really exciting to me,” Potter said of the album’s debut and positive critical reception, “but the first thing I think about is how we take the songs into the live perspective. For me, we’re at the top of our game. I don’t mean to be egotistical, but we know how to play these songs.”

She raved about the Nocturnals’ time on the road with Gov’t Mule, the band led by Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes. As the opening act, the Nocturnals had to compress their live show to an hour or less, helping to make the band musically tighter. Gov’t Mule’s crowds have high expectations, Potter said, so the Nocturnals knew they had to go out and impress them immediately. And then there were the lessons from Gov’t Mule’s professionalism, with the tour running on a strict schedule such as the bus leaving by 1:30 a.m., no ifs, ands or buts.

“We were rolling with the big boys,” Potter said. “It’s a job and I really loved that part of it. It felt like a medieval caravan of Vikings.”

Potter’s plans to make 2008 a memorable year range from improving the band’s promotional photos and publicity (“We’re a fascinating group of people who just haven’t come off as fascinating yet”) to fine-tuning her songwriting, making it more descriptive with fewer metaphors (“I like to tell a story where you feel like you’re having a conversation”). She said “This Is Somewhere” might only sell 100,000 copies at first — it has sold less than 30,000 to date — but could catch on.

“I don’t think we will play ‘Saturday Night Live’ yet,” she said, “but we will one day.”

That kind of break might take some luck. Potter wants to make sure the Nocturnals are ready to be lucky.

“Luck,” she said, “falls on you while you’re busy working.”

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 12/28/2007 at 03:59 PM
Nice article, Derek! Thanks! I really enjoyed Grace and the Nocturnals when I saw them on tour with GM this year ... my 1st introduction to them and they did kick booty.

 

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  posted on 12/28/2007 at 07:29 PM
Very cool read...

 

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  posted on 12/28/2007 at 07:49 PM
Grace and the Nocturnals are supposedly on my local PBS station (WGBH) in 5 miniutes (8pm EST)!

[Edited on 12/29/2007 by 44Blues]

 

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  posted on 12/28/2007 at 08:16 PM
i saw grace open up for mule in wallingford ct ...she/they blew me away ... i' going to see her at the ridgefield playhouse or toads place in feb'08...thanks for posting the update

 

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  posted on 12/29/2007 at 12:01 AM
I bought their new album today , upon my first listen I do like it .

 

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  posted on 12/29/2007 at 03:03 AM
“We were rolling with the big boys,” Potter said. “It’s a job and I really loved that part of it. It felt like a medieval caravan of Vikings.”

:-)

I loved that comment.

 

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  posted on 12/29/2007 at 08:52 PM
grate
 
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  posted on 12/30/2007 at 03:17 PM
Very nice!!!

 

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