Not familiar with the Vermont-based band that was recently named one of the Best New Acts of 2010 by Rolling Stone? Well here’s an official one-line bio that’s so good, I’m not even bothering to re-write or paraphrase: “Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are like a modern-day version of Tina Turner stroking the microphone in a spangled mini-dress while fronting the Rolling Stones circa Sticky Fingers.” Right on.
And although I’ve loved Ms. Potter and her fellow Nocturnals since I saw them years (and years) ago at the Newport Folk Festival, their new self-titled album just blows my mind.
This homegrown New England band ignites its soulful roots with old-fashioned guitar riffs, contemporary hooks, and a voice that stops you in your tracks. Potter’s feisty and fresh sound hearkens back to the days of real lady singers like Janis Joplin. Well, if Joplin wore short sparkly dresses.
And sure, a few of the songs start a little slow before segueing into good old-fashioned rock jams. But tracks like “Medicine,” “Money,” and “Paris” are just straight-up fantastic jams that make me yearn for Saturday afternoon [hot-hands hot-feet] dance sessions at Bonnaroo.
Ultimately, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals kill it.
PS: If you haven’t seen Grace Potter cover of “White Rabbit,” then head over to YouTube. Seriously. Go.