music / Columns

Jam Central Station 2.2.13 – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

February 2, 2013 | Posted by mojo4395


Hey everyone! Hope you’re doing well. I’m pleased to announce that the recording for The MuckleBuck’s first album is completed after a crazy weekend session. Final listen on Sunday, then the mixing process starts. Very exciting, I know. Other than that, I’m just sitting here, waiting for lineups to drop so I can plan my summer. I’m guessing you’re in the same boat. While we wait, let’s check out this week’s article!


In typical (former) Hard Rock Guy fashion, I don’t like country music. I know a lot of people tell me that the best modern country is just basically good rock and roll with a fiddle, it’s just not my thing (even though I love me some fiddle). I like rock. I like bluegrass. I like folk. But I don’t like country music. I think it’s the twang. I can’t deal with that over-emphasized Southern drawl. The songs also always come across to me as simplistic without much depth to them. Maybe (probably) I’m biased, but it is what it is. I hear a country twang, and I head for the hills.

There was one distinct time that I broke that rule, however. I was hanging out in a hammock at Rothbury 2009. I’ve spent plenty of time in those hammocks, and nothing bad has ever happened to me in said hammocks, so I suppose it should be no surprise that this event was pretty awesome. It’s early in the day, I think on Saturday, and, on the Sherwood Court stage, I hear this country-esque voice. Frankly I didn’t want to move from my hammock, so I just hung out there and listened. I was mesmerized. The set was powerful, fun, and energetic. The voice wasn’t “modern” country as much as it was Janis Joplin-style southern. And when they closed with Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” I was hooked. That was my first experience with Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, and, from that moment, I was hooked.

The band got their start in the decidedly non-Southern state of Vermont in 2002. Potter spent her time singing in coffee houses, and drummer Matt Burr ran into her at one of her performances. By the end of 2003, the band line up had solidified and they began playing shows in their area. Potter was not only a singer and multi-instrumentalist, but also a strong songwriter, so the band had little trouble quickly putting together material. They toured Vermont and the New England area, bringing in fans and winning local awards. In 2005 they released their first album, the independently released Nothing But The Water.

The independent release garnered attention from the jam band community, even though the band wasn’t a traditional “jam band.” Despite this, their musicianship, songwriting, and Potter’s vocals and stage presence caught the attention of other musicians. The band won the Jammy Award for “Best New Groove” in 2006, and Potter performed as part of a jam that featured multiple legendary musicians. This immediately raised the band’s profile, allowing them to tour the country on their own as well as opening for other acts. The band, determined not to let this opportunity go to waste, released This Is Somewhere in 2007 and subsequently toured with Gov’t Mule.

The album was another success, particularly through digital downloads, and the band continued their touring. They also licensed their songs out to a handful of TV shows, allowing their music to reach a wider audience. The country-flavored rock mix had a wide appeal, and the band slowly continued climbing the ladder musically. They were invited to play late night TV shows and they toured with the Black Crowes and the Dave Matthews Band. They played multiple festivals in 2008 and 2009, guesting with friends such as Gov’t Mule and even taking over part of moe.’s 5-hour Bonnaroo set. In just about 4 years, the band had gone from a relatively unknown New England band to one of the fastest up and coming jam rockers around.

They entered the studio in 2009 for a new album to be produced by the legendary T-Bone Burnett. The album was written and recorded almost entirely by Potter and Burnett, a process that Potter was concerned with. Instead of a near-solo album, the project with Burnett was shelved and the full band went to work on an album. Many of the same songs were used, but they were recorded with producer Mark Baston, and the band’s eponymous album came out in 2010. It debuted at #19 on Billboard and produced a pair of singles that were picked up by modern adult contemporary radio.

After more successful touring and numerous festivals, the band returned to the studio for 2012’s The Lion The Beast And The Beat. The band branched out for this album, working with Dan Auebach of the Black Keys for a handful of tracks. They spent the summer of 2012 touring massive football stadiums with country music heavyweights Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, despite the newest album moving decisively away from their country influences.

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals are the type of band that have the potential for tremendous commercial and critical success. Their country flavor can appeal to a broad swath of music fans. Potters vocals are tremendous, and her songwriting draws people in. The band has already been a part of several collaborations, and they have ongoing relationships with artists such as Kenny Chesney and Warren Haynes. They are the type of diverse and ecclectic rock that jam fans are drawn to, with enough commercial appeal to give the band the opportunity for massive commercial success. Either way, I’m pretty sure that there’s a lot more left to come from Grace Potter & The Nocturnals.



Bottle Rock Festival announced
The first ever BottleRock Festival will take place on May 10-12 in Napa Valley, CA at the Expo Grounds. The festival will include The Black Keys, Furthur, Zac Brown Band, Alabama Shakes, The Flamin Lips, cake, Rodrigo y Gabriela, The Black Crowes, Ben Harper, and Primus. This brand new festival will also feature comedians and plenty of food and wine options from the Nap Valley region.

Trey Anastasio Band adds dates
The Trey Anastasio Band will be heading out west in April. The band has been touring sporadically for the past few months, and they’ll be hitting Washington, Oregon, and California. Look for some more dates from the band leading up to their performance at Summer Camp.

April 16 Seattle, WA—Moore Theatre
April 17 Portland, OR—McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
April 19 Oakland, CA—Fox Theater
April 20 Oakland, CA—Fox Theater


Panic En La Playa Dos
January 27-31, 2013
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
This event will be the return of Widespread Panic to the stage after a year-long hiatus. Tickets go on sale August 24.

Jam in the Sand
March 1-5, 2013
Breezes Grand Resort
Negril, Jamaica
Dark Star Orchestra’s first Jamaican event. This event will feature multiple DSO shows as well as three Keller Williams sets and other activities

Buku Music Project
March 8-9, 2013
Mardi Gras World Warehouse
New Orleans, LA
Performers include: Kid Cudi, Calvin Harris, Primus, Passion Pit, STS9, Zedd, Major Lazer, Big Gigantic, Datsik, Lettuce, and many others

SnowBall Music Festival
March 8-10, 2012
Winter Park, CO
Performers include:Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, Portugal. The Man, Rubblebucket, and many others.

Suwannee Springfest
March 21-24, 2013
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL
Performers include: Peter Rowan, Keller and the Keels, Jerry Douglas, Cornmeal, Leftover Salmon, Donna the Buffalo, The Travelin’ McCoury’s, Elephant Revival, and many others.

Ultra Music Festival
March 15-17, 2013
March 22-24, 2013
Miami, FL
Performers include: Tiesto, David Guetta, Above & Beyond, Bassnectar, Fatboy Slim, Richie Hawtin, Crystal Castles, deadmau5, Major Lazer, Thievery Corporation, and many others.

March 21-24, 2012
Killington Resort
Killington, VT

April 12-14, 2013
April 19-21, 2013
Performers include: Stone Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blur, Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bassnectar, xx, Modest Mouse, Lou Reed, Postal Service, Grizzley Bear, Wu-Tang Clan, Lumineers, and many others.

Wanee Festival
April 18-20, 2013
Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL
Performers include: Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang, and many others.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 26-May 5, 2013
New Orleans, LA
Performers include: Dave Matthews Band, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Widespread Panic, B.B. King, The Black Keys, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Maroon 5, and a very diverse lineup of many other artists.

BottleRock Festival
May 10-12, 2013
Expo Grounds
Napa Valley, CA
Performers include: Furthur, The Black Keys, The Flaming Lips, Cake, Alabama Shakes, The Black Crowes, Ben Harper, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and many others.

Hangout Music Festival
May 17-19, 2013
Gulf Shores, AL

Summer Camp Music Festival
May 23-36
Three Sisters Park
Chillicothe, IL
Performers include: moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Trey Anastasio Band, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain String Band, Thievery Corp., Big Gigantic, Lettuce, Cornmeal, Keller Williams, and many others.

May 23-26, 2013
Cumberland, MD

May 30-June 2, 2013
Mulberry Mountain
Ozark, AR
Performers include: Widespread Panic, Yonder Mountain String Band, STS9, The Black Crowes, Umphrey’s McGee, Dispatch, Shpongle, Snoop Lion, Gogol Bordello, Zed’s Dead, Rebolution, and many others.

Mountain Jam
June 6-9, 2013
Hunter Mountain, NY
Performers include: Phil Lesh & Friends, Gov’t Mule, Widespread Panic, Primus, The Avett Brothers, Dispatch, Gary Clark Jr., Soulive, ALO, and many others.

Governors Ball Music Festival
June 7-9, 2013
Randall’s Island
New York City, NY

Camp Railroad
June 10-14, 2012
Full Moon resort
Big Indian, NY
This 4-day music camp will feature members of Railroad Earth in an assortment of workshops, performances, discussions and other sessions to help aspiring musicians and those interested in the music industry to gain an insight into the inner workings of the band. A variety of accommodations are available, and musicians of all skill levels are accepted.
June 13-16
Manchester, TN

Telluride Bluegrass Festival
June 20-23
Telluride, Colorado
Performers include: Sam Bush Band, Jackson Brown, Emmylou Harris 7 Rodney Crowell, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Jerry Douglas Band, Punch Brothers, Trampled by Turtles, Infamous Stringdusters, Elephant Revival, and many others.

Solid Sound Festival
June 21-23, 2013
Museum of Contemporary Art
North Adams, MA
Hosted by Wilco

Electric Forest Festival
June 27-30, 2013
Double JJ Ranch and Resort
Rothbury, MI

High Sierra Music Festival
July 4-7, 2013
Quincy, CA

Camp Bisco
July 11-13, 2013
Indian Lookout Country Club
Mariaville, NY

All Good Music Festival
July 18-21, 2013
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH

Northwest String Summit
July 18-21, 2013
Horning’s Hideout
North Plains, OR

Pitchfork Music Festival
July 19-21, 2013
Union Park
Chicago, IL

Floyd Fest
July 25-28, 2013
Floyd, VA
Performers include: The Lumineers, John Butler Trio, Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Trampled by Turtles, Blitzen Trapper, and many others.

Gathering of the Vibes
July 25-28, 2013
Seaside Park
Bridgeport, CT

Newport Folk Festival
July 27-28, 2013
Newport, RI

Newport Jazz Festival
August 2-4, 2013
Newport, RI

August 9-11, 2013
Snow Ridge Ski Resort
Turin, NY

Outside Lands
August 9-11
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA

Catskill Chill
September 6-8, 2013
Camp Minglewood
Hancock, NY

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
October 4-6, 2013
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA

Austin City Limits
October 4-6, 2013
October 11-13, 2013


Thanks again for hanging out this week. As always there’s more jam for you on Facebook and Twitter. Until next week, Jam On!


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