Grace Potter and the Nocturnals is an American rock band from Vermont, formed in 2002 in Waitsfield by drummer Matt Burr, guitarist Scott Tournet, and singer Grace Potter. They began their career as an indie band, self-producing their albums and touring extensively in the jam bands and music festivals circuit, playing as many as 200 gigs in a year. In 2005 they signed for Hollywood Records; they have published four studio albums, encompassing rock subgenres such as blues rock, folk rock, hard rock, and alternative rock. Their third, self-titled album (2010) has been a major commercial success, topping iTunes charts and receiving international attention.
The band is fronted by lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Grace Potter (born June 20, 1983), who is known for her vocal qualities—evocative of blues rock singers like Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, or Koko Taylor—as well as for her vibrant energy on stage. Besides playing with the Nocturnals, Potter has also released solo material and collaborated with other artists including Kenny Chesney and The Rolling Stones.
Nothing But the Water is Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ first studio album. It was released on May 10, 2005 independently by the band. The album was re-released with re-mastered tracks and a bonus DVD on May 23, 2006 after the band signed with Hollywood Records in late 2005.Nothing But the Water is Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ first studio album. It was released on May 10, 2005 independently by the band. The album was re-released with re-mastered tracks and a bonus DVD on May 23, 2006 after the band signed with Hollywood Records in late 2005. (by wikipedia)
While the 22-year-old Grace Potter’s vocal influences are obvious — Bonnies Raitt and Bramlett, Susan Tedeschi, and Lucinda Williams — it’s what she does with her voice that is most impressive. This sophomore indie album gets all the parts right. Even though the band is from Vermont, there is no denying the Southern blues, gospel and swamp rock that course through its veins. Potter’s songs, all co-written with her group, grind through a combination of the Band, J.J. Cale (who she namechecks on the opening “Toothbrush and My Table”), Taj Mahal, and Tift Merritt. Although it is self-recorded, Nothing but the Water exudes a professional sound and the band knows when to play and when to lay back. Lyrically, Potter is stuck on the lost love track, but she makes the most of that overworked concept with smart, savvy words that retain an air of mystery. She’s got a terrific, grainy voice, but it’s her piano and Hammond B-3 playing that really set her apart from the pack. The organ adds a gospel flavor — part Gregg Allman, part Booker T., part Steve Winwood — that pushes this material from good to great. “Treat Me Right” throbs with a sexuality perfectly echoed in the band’s skeletal swamp funk backing.
In particular, Scott Tournet’s slide guitar pushes the rollicking “Sweet Hands” down Highway 61 as Potter charges through lyrics such as “it’s like touch and go without the touch” with a mix of sassy fire and feisty intensity. “Joey” tells the story of spousal abuse with images that are powerful and scary (“He looks me in the eye, he’ll hit me ’til I cry”). She goes full Delta blues/Bonnie Raitt mode on the acoustic “2:22,” accompanied only by acoustic guitar and subtle standup bass. It’s an impressive track and shows she could be a fine traditional blues singer if she wanted to pursue that avenue. The final trilogy of tracks is the album’s highlight. Shifting from the spooky instrumental “Below the Beams” to the a cappella gospel of “Nothing but the Water Pt.1” and into the song’s rollicking “Pt. 2,” the band fires on all cylinders as Potter spits out the gospel words powered by her own keyboards and the band’s surging storm of blues-rock. It caps an impressive release that only scratches the surface of what this band can generate live. (by Hal Horowitz)
Matt Burr (drums, percussion)
Bryan Dondero (bass)
Grace Potter (vocals, keyboards, tambourine)
Scott Tournett (guitar, background vocals)
Jennifer Crowell (tambourine, background vocals)
01. Toothbrush And My Table (Potter/Burr) – 4:31
02. Some Kind Of Ride (Potter) 3.40
03. Ragged Company (Potter) 4.59
04. Left Behind (Potter/Burr/Dondero/Tournet) 3.39
05. Treat Me Right (Potter/Burr/Dondero/Tournet) 4.27
06. Sweet Hands (Potter) 3.37
07. Joey (Potter/Burr/Dondero/Tournet) 5.17
08. 2:22 (Potter, Tournet) 4.32
09. All But One (Potter) 4.53
10. Below the Beams (Potter/Burr/Dondero/Tournet) 1.33
11. Nothing But the Water (I) (Potter) 2.44
12. Nothing But the Water (II) (Potter) 5.16
Oh yes, I´m a fool for a pretty face …