By Andy J. Gordon
Bands that get lumped into the “jamband” category play lots of different kinds of music. They can be rooted in jazz, rock, electronic, blues, and many other genres, but they all seem to have a much stronger following live than on mainstream radio. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (http://www.gracepotter.com/) have been hitting the festival circuit and mixing it up with the jamband scene for a few years, but seem to be headed into the mainstream with their new self-titled release. Potter, who looks like a movie star and sings like a classic rocker (think Joplin or Plant), leads a group of talented musicians that can really rock out.
The new album, on the Hollywood Records label (a division of Disney), ranges from hard charging rock, to bluesy ballads. Potter on keyboards and vocals, is the leader of a new five piece configuration. Lead guitarist Scott Tournet and drummer Matt Burr are joined by newcomers Catherine Popper (Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, Hem) on bass, and rhythm guitarist Benny Yurco. The album brings the energy of their live shows while retaining the strong production values that are only possible in the studio. Produced by Mark Batson (Dr. Dre, Jaz-Z, Dave Matthews Band), the band runs through 13 tracks that are danceable, foot tapping, and a solid homage to classic rock.
With live appearances at SXSW, Good Morning America, and The Late Show with Jay Leno, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals are reaching a new audience that will have the pleasure of hearing their infectious sound. The new album is a definite winner – grab it now. If you are in the LA area, you can see them perform as the opening act for The Avett Brothers & Brandi Carlile on October 1st, 2010 at L.A. Live Nokia Theater (http://www.nokiatheatrelalive.com/content.php?section=events&page=eventdetail&id=1706.)
Photo courtesy of Hollywood Records