Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

If there’s one thing that irks Grace Potter it’s “a white girl pretending she has soul.”
“It’s like nails on a chalkboard to me,” she said.
Blues and soul music aren’t something that can really be taught, “you kind of have to have it,” Potter said.
Fortunately for the music world, Potter with her soaring soulful voice has IT, and then some.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals have been making music since 2004. But it’s only been within the last year that the rest of the nation has has really taken notice of the Vermont-based band, resulting in skyrocketing popularity.
Whereas the band was playing venues with 30 to 50 people a couple of years ago, now Potter and the Nocturnals are performing before about 1,500 fans each night…and those venues aren’t big enough. Their shows have been selling out in almost every city.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals combine a ’70s-like rootsy rock groove with soulful blues, all anchored by Potter’s powerful vocal chords, to create a timeless sound.
The latest self-titled album from Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, released last June, is a must have for anyone who enjoys classic rock. Anchored by such songs as “Paris (Ohh La La),” “Tiny Light,” “Medicine” and the soulful “Fooling Myself,” Potter is already garnering comparisons with some of the music world’s A-list front women.
But the former general contractor recently told the Deseret News that her voice was something she was just blessed with. She never took formal lessons.
“I got lucky,” said the easy going Potter, who answers questions more like the friend you catch up over drinks with at the pub rather than a formal interview. “A lot of what I do is channeling.”
Potter said she doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about where it comes from. “You have to have a reverence for it and let it be what it is.”
Wednesday, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals will be at The Depot in Salt Lake City. For Potter, it will mark her third Utah visit in a little over a year.
Last year, the band was invited to perform at the ASCAP Music Cafe at the Sundance Film Festival. Having her songs featured in films or on TV is something Potter loves. Already, she and her band have had their music on several TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy, ER, One Tree Hill and All My Children.
“TV is the new radio,” Potter said. “Everytime I heard our music (on television)…it warms my heart. You can’t be a radio artist without having your music on TV. It’s really probably the coolest thing to hear your song coming on. It’s a thrill.”
Just a couple of weeks ago, Potter snuck into Salt Lake to play a private show for the Outdoor Retailers Convention.
In past tours, when Potter and the Nocturnals were the openers, she said it was hard to tell if the crowds were there for her on the headliners. But this go around, there’s no doubt who the sellout crowds have paid to see.
“All the hard work is starting to pay off,” she said. “It’s the most rewarding feeling to come to play for these crows and these sold out rooms. We hadn’t known that feeling until this tour.”
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals play at The Depot at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at all Smith’s Tix locations, by phone 801-467-TIXX, 1-800-888-TIXX, online, and at The Depot box office day of show at 5:00 p.m.

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