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Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Background information
Origin Waitsfield, Vermont, U.S.
Genres Rock and roll, folk rock, blues, roots rock, hard rock, country rock
Years active 2002 (2002)–present
Labels Hollywood
Members Grace Potter
Matt Burr
Benny Yurco
Michael Libramento
Past members Bryan Dondero
Catherine Popper
Scott Tournet

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 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.

The current lineup of the Nocturnals includes Grace Potter, Matt Burr, guitarist Benny Yurco and bassist Michael Libramento.


Grace Potter and the Nocturnals' lead vocalist is multi-instrumentalist Grace Potter, who attended Harwood Union High School before going onto St. Lawrence University for two years until she ultimately determined to pursue music professionally. In addition to lead vocals, Potter plays Hammond B3, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer Electric Piano and electric (including the Gibson Flying V) and acoustic guitars. The other members of the band are Scott Tournet, on guitars (including slide guitar) and harmonica, drummer and also Potter's husband Matthew Burr, Michael Libramento on bass guitar and keyboards, and Benny Yurco on electric guitar and vocals. Bryan Dondero played bass guitar, upright bass, and mandolin with the group until his departure in early 2009.[1]

The band was originally formed in late 2002 when Burr saw Potter perform folk songs in a student-run venue called The Java Barn on the St. Lawrence campus. Burr approached Potter about starting a band, citing James Brown and The Band as musical influences he heard in Potter's voice and original songs. In the spring of 2003, Burr invited guitarist Tournet to join the group, thus cementing the founding members of the band that would become Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

The group independently recorded and released one album, Nothing But the Water in 2005 with Charlotte, VT sound engineer Lane Gibson. An older album, Original Soul (2004), was a solo release from Potter, also recorded and mastered by Gibson. Following extensive airplay on Vermont Adult Album Alternative radio stations WNCS and WEBK, the band signed a deal with Hollywood Records in December 2005 and re-released Nothing But the Water on May 23, 2006.[2]

In 2005, the band was nominated in two categories at the Boston Music Awards, for "Best Local Female Artist" and also for "Best New Local Act". They also performed at the awards ceremony.[3]

In 2006, the band won the Jammy Award for "Best New Groove"[4] and was nominated for two more Boston Music Awards: Album Of The Year (major) for the re-release of Nothing But the Water, and Female Vocalist of the Year (for frontwoman Grace Potter).[5] Potter played Hammond Organ and sang lead vocals alongside Joe Satriani, Steve Kimock, Reed Mathis, Willy Waldman, and Stephen Perkins during that appearance. They played a cover of Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer", to a standing ovation.[6]

The group released its second album, This Is Somewhere, on August 7, 2007 on Hollywood Records and toured that fall supporting Gov't Mule for its October and November North American tour.[7][8]

Their song "Apologies" was featured on the American television shows All My Children, Kyle XY, One Tree Hill, and Brothers & Sisters, and the song "Falling or Flying" was featured on the hit drama shows ER and Grey's Anatomy and appeared on Volume 3 of the latter's soundtrack.[citation needed]

The band supported The Black Crowes on their North American tour in the summer of 2008.

On August 2, 2007, the band made their network television debut on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. This was followed by appearances on ABC's Good Morning America on August 7, 2007[9][10] and CBS' The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on August 10, 2007.

File:Grace Potter.jpg
Grace Potter in concert in 2007

In 2008, the group opened for the Dave Matthews Band for three dates: a two-night stand at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga, New York June 20–21, and June 24 at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts.[11] The band played a full set at the Mile High Music Festival on July 20.[12]

In November 2008, Bose began using "Ain't No Time" in their North American iPod SoundDock sales displays.

Hollywood Records released the news on May 11, 2009 that T-Bone Burnett would be producing a new project with Potter, tentatively scheduled for fall of 2009. The project was deemed as a solo collaboration and both Potter and Burnett spoke very highly of the project to the press. By November 13, the band posted a new release date for the album, pushing it back to spring 2010. Hollywood Records shelved the T-Bone Burnett album in favor of a true band album, released June 8, 2010.[17] The album was produced by Mark Batson, with "Tiny Light" as the first single. The video for "Tiny Light" was shot in Los Angeles during February 2010 with director Paul Minor.

During the 2009 Bonnaroo Music Festival, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, along with playing their own set, joined Gov't Mule and moe. on stage for their shows. Potter and Tournet joined Gov't Mule onstage, while with moe. they one-by-one replaced the band during moe.'s five hour set and played four of their own songs to be replaced back by moe. in a musical collaboration known as "A Hostile Takeover".

In 2010, the band appeared on Almost Alice, the companion soundtrack for Tim Burton's feature film Alice in Wonderland, with a cover version of Jefferson Airplane's song "White Rabbit".

The band appeared at Hangout Music Festival on May 15, 2010 in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Potter appeared as a guest on stage with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, singing vocals for "St. James Infirmary Blues" and joined Gov't Mule on a cover of "Gold Dust Woman".

In late May 2010, Vermont specialty chocolate maker Lake Champlain Chocolates created a new chocolate bar in conjunction with Grace Potter called Grace Under Fire. The dark chocolate contains pistachios and red pepper flakes.

On the eve of their eponymous album release date, the band announced on Facebook and Twitter that they were going to perform a free concert on Burlington, Vermont's Church Street Marketplace the following day. The hour-long concert attracted thousands of viewers and became a huge local media story.[13] The band sold merchandise and hosted a meet and greet with fans for three hours following the concert.

The group released their third studio recording, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, on June 8, 2010. On July 19, 2010, as a launch to their second single from Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, the band premiered the video to "Paris (Ooh La La)" on Hulu.

Potter also wrote a track titled "Something That I Want", which was performed on One Tree Hill. In 2010, she re-wrote some of the lyrics and Disney chose it to be featured during the closing credits of their 50th animated feature Tangled, which Potter sang by herself. The movie soundtrack was released on November 16, 2010.

The group made an appearance at the 80/35 Music Festival in Des Moines on July 3, 2011.

On December 3, 2011, Grace Potter performed a live set for "Guitar Center Sessions" on DirecTV. The episode included an interview with program host, Nic Harcourt.[14]

On February 9, 2012, Grace Potter announced the title of their upcoming fourth studio album, The Lion the Beast the Beat, noting that they collaborated with The Black Keys member Dan Auerbach.

On October 3, 2012 Grace Potter appeared at the "Love for Levon" tribute show to Levon Helm held at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ. Saying that “(t)his is one of the great pleasures of my life,” Potter performed "I Shall Be Released" by Bob Dylan. This song was performed by The Band accompanied by many guest stars such as Ringo Starr and Bob Dylan in the "The Last Waltz" concert held on November 25, 1976 at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.


Recorded between tours during the summer and fall of 2004 at the band's Waitsfield rehearsal space, Depart So Slow featured the songwriting of singer/guitarist Scott Taylor with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals providing musical backing. It was engineered and mixed by Nocturnals guitarist Scott Tournet.

In 2008, Potter recorded a version of "I Want Something That I Want" with Bethany Joy Galeotti (One Tree Hill) on a track from the acoustic sessions from One Tree Hill. In addition to this collaboration, Potter also served as guest composer in the seventh episode of the show's sixth season, "Messin' With the Kid". Potter appeared as herself on the show, performing "I Want Something That I Want" with Galeotti's character Haley James Scott. She also performed "Ah, Mary".

In 2009, Potter was featured on the track "Ordinary Man" by fellow Vermont singer-songwriter Gregory Douglass on his album Battler.

Potter contributed again to One Tree Hill in the show's eighth season. Various artists covered Gavin DeGraw's hit song "I Don't Want to Be" to be played over the show's opening credits. Potter contributed her cover for the eighth episode of the season, Mouthful of Diamonds.

Potter sang on the track "You and Tequila", on the September 2010, album Hemingway's Whiskey by country music singer Kenny Chesney. Chesney joined the Nocturnals when they opened on October 30 for The Avett Brothers at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.[15] Potter returned to sing backing vocals on Chesney's late-2012 single "El Cerrito Place".[16] She also sang with Chesney again on "Wild Child".[17]

The group performed at the Big Dance in 2013 in Atlanta, GA, which is part of the NCAA final four festivities and in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at Rock in Rio.[18]

Potter is featured on Gov't Mule's 2013 album Shout! providing lead vocals for the song "Whisper In Your Soul." The song debuted on September 5, 2013, when Potter performed with Gov't Mule at the first annual Lockn' Festival in Arrington, VA.[citation needed]

Other appearances in the media

In 2011, their song "Paris (Ooh la la)" was featured on the season 2 promo for the TNT television series Rizzoli & Isles. In July 2011 Grace was with Chelsea Handler on her T.V. show. She is also launching a line of chocolates along with her band, The Nocturnals. Grace provided the voice of Carol, the owner of Christmas Carol's, a bar in the Disney Christmas special Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice in December 2011. In 2012, their song "Nothing but the Water" was heard during the trailers for the ABC drama "Last Resort," which debuted in Fall 2012.

Band members

  • Grace Potter - vocals, guitar, piano, organ, Fender Rhodes, keyboards, tambourine (2002–present)
  • Matt Burr - drums, percussion, backing vocals (2002–present)
  • Benny Yurco - guitar, bass guitar, backing vocals (2009–present)
  • Michael Libramento - bass guitar, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals (2011–present)
  • Bryan Dondero - bass guitar, upright bass, mandolin (2002-2009)
  • Catherine Popper - bass guitar, backing vocals (2009-2011)
  • Scott Tournet - guitar, keyboards, bass guitar, lap steel, harmonica, backing vocals (2002–2015)



Year Album Peak chart positions
US US Rock US Heat US Digital US Taste.
2004 Original Soul*
  • Released: March 2, 2004
  • Label: Indie911
  • Format: CD
2005 Nothing But the Water
  • Released: September 20, 2005
  • Label: Grace Potter
  • Format: CD
2007 This Is Somewhere
  • Released: August 7, 2007
  • Label: Hollywood
  • Format: CD, DI
119 1
2010 Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
  • Released: June 8, 2010
  • Label: Hollywood
  • Format: DI, LP, CD+
19 3 9 6
2012 The Lion the Beast the Beat
  • Released: June 12, 2012
  • Label: Hollywood
  • Format: CD, LP, DI
17 7 10 2
* denotes Grace Potter solo album, not a Grace Potter & The Nocturnals release

"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Live albums

Year Album
2005 Live Oh Five
  • Released:
  • Label:
  • Format:
2008 Live In Skowhegan
  • Released: December 21, 2008
  • Label: Hollywood
  • Format:
2012 Live from the Legendary Sun Studio
  • Released:
  • Label:
  • Format:


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US US Adult
US Rock US Rock Digital
2007 "Ah, Mary" This Is Somewhere
2008 "I Want Something That I Want" Bethany Joy Lenz Galeotti + Grace Potter
2010 "Tiny Light" Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
"Paris (Ooh La La)" 20 19
2011 "Please Come Home for Christmas" 37 Christmas with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
2012 "Never Go Back" The Lion the Beast the Beat
"Stars" 95 27 13 12 86
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Guest singles

Year Single Artist Peak chart positions Certifications Album
US Country US Country Airplay US CAN Country CAN
2011 "You and Tequila" Kenny Chesney
feat. Grace Potter
3 33 62
  • US: Platinum
Hemingway's Whiskey
2015 "Wild Child"A 9 4 64 6 85 The Big Revival
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
  • ACurrent single.[20]

Other songs

Music videos

Year Video Director
2010 "Tiny Light" Paul Minor
"Paris (Ooh La La)"
2011 "You and Tequila" (Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter) Shaun Silva
2012 "Never Go Back" Isaac Rentz
"Stars"[21] Philip Andelman
2015 "Wild Child" (Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter)[22] Shaun Silva


  1. ^ Hallenbeck, Brent (January 5, 2005). "Full of Grace: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals poised to be Vermont's next big musical export". Burlington Free Press. 
  2. ^ Hemingway, Sam (June 19, 2006). "Nocturnals play the daylights out of rock". USA Today. 
  3. ^ "Nothing But the Water Live From the BMA's". YouTube. May 19, 2006. 
  4. ^ JamBase: Jammy Award Winners 2006
  5. ^ JamBase: Nemo '06 & BMA Awards, September 19, 2006
  6. ^ Jammy Award performance of Cortez the Killer
  7. ^ "'This is Somewhere' by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals". Hartford Courant. August 9, 2007. 
  8. ^ Dye, David (August 24, 2007). "Grace Potter and the Nocturnals: Timelessly Modern". National Public Radio (NPR). 
  9. ^ Good Morning America 8/7/07 clip 1
  10. ^ Good Morning America 8/7/07 clip 2
  11. ^ "Dave Matthews Band and the Openers | 2008 Tour Dates". Live Music Blog.Com. Retrieved March 28, 2012. 
  12. ^ Performers at the Mile High Music Festival
  13. ^ Hallenbeck, Brent, "Grace Potter and the Nocturnals rock the Marketplace", Burlington Free Press, Brent's Notebook blog; June 8, 2010 7:43 PM ET. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  14. ^ Guitar Center Sessions with host Nic Harcourt Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  15. ^ Hallenbeck, Brent, "The latest from Grace Potter and the Nocturnals", Burlington Free Press, Brent's Notebook blog; November 1, 2010 12:24 PM ET. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  16. ^ Flippo, Chet (June 21, 2012). "NASHVILLE SKYLINE: To Kenny Chesney From Charlie Robison and Keith Gattis". Country Music Television. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  17. ^ Wild Child (Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter song)
  18. ^ Rock in Rio lineup
  19. ^ "Grace Potter Album & Song Chart History: Pop Songs". November 29, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  20. ^ "R&R :: Going For Adds :: Country". Radio & Records. Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
  21. ^ "CMT : Videos : Grace Potter & the Nocturnals : Stars". Country Music Television. Retrieved August 24, 2012. 
  22. ^ Mansfield, Brian (February 11, 2015). "Premiere: Kenny Chesney's 'Wild Child' video". USA Today. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 

External links

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