Artist Spotlight: Grace Potter and The Nocturnals

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (2010)

If you haven’t heard of Grace Potter & The Nocturnals by now, it’s about time you did. Formed in 2003, this Vermont-based quintet has been blowing the minds of fans across the U.S. for years with their unique take on classic rock ‘n’ roll. The current line-up is made up of five incredibly talented young artists: Grace Potter (keyboards/vocals), Scott Tournet (lead guitar/harmonica), Matt Burr (drums), Catherine Popper (bass), and Benny Yurco (guitar).

Potter, Burr, and Tournet formed the earliest version of Grace Potter & The Nocturnals in the spring of 2003. The trio independently recorded and produced one album (Nothing But the Water) before signing a deal with Hollywood Records in December 2005. Popper and Yurco joined the band after the quintet recorded a selection of ’60s covers for VH1’s documentary Woodstock: Then and Now. The rest, as they say, is history.

The band has grown considerably since their VH1 days—both musically and emotionally—and their newest album is a testament to that fact. Produced by Mark Batson (Dr. Dre, Eminem, Jay-Z, Dave Matthews Band), the band’s third album (Grace Potter & The Nocturnals) captures the group in the act of realizing its true potential. According to Potter, “This record is the first time it’s really been us—the first time we’ve all found each other and ourselves. . . . The whole thing was fluid and effortless.”

This effortlessness translates well onstage: Potter is nothing but a blur of sparkles and skin swaying back-and-forth to the intoxicating, heady beat of a drum solo. Eyelids fluttering, she leans her head back—smoothly, sensuously—and lets go with a note that brings the entire audience to its feet. She commands the microphone with an intensity that is reminiscent of Tina Turner in her prime, but she does so with a flair all her own.

So, ladies and gentleman, after seven years and three albums, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals have finally arrived.