Grace Potter and The Nocturnals Play The Jorgensen 9/30
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals will set the fall tempo at Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, September 30, at 8:00 p.m.
Grace Potter of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals rocks the spangly mini-dress the way Tina Turner did. And she has the same heart. She says she defined the deep throb of the rock beat as set by Michael Jackson, her childhood favorite, but thinks of Keith Richards when she plays guitar.
The band found itself in its latest album, appropriately titled "Grace Potter and the Nocturnals." It just poured out of them, Potter says. "The whole thing was fluid and effortless. In my mind, an album shouldn't be self-titled unless it feels that way."
The album showcases the Vermont-based band's new five-piece configuration that starts with keyboard specialist Potter, lead guitarist Scott Tournet and drummer Matt Burr and adds in bassist Catherine Popper (formerly of Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, and Hem) and rhythm guitarist Benny Yurco, who plays with Tournet and Burr in the side project Blues & Lasers. The album was produced by Mark Batson (Dr. Dre, Eminem, Jay-Z, Dave Matthews Band), who co-wrote six of the 13 songs with Potter and, she says, "crafted our psyche."
Potter and drummer Burr recently appeared on "Live From Daryl's House," Daryl Hall's live free Web show. Her soulful rock voice meshed handsomely with Hall on harmony. Over dinner on the show she and Burr tell of making their first album in a barn, christened by Black Sabbath and Phish, slugging down Yellowtail.
"You've got me down on the floor. So, what'd you bring me down here for?" Potter sings in "Paris (Ooh La La)" in a heated style that demands an answer. As she wrote it, Potter was riveted to the primal riff in the Kinks' "You Really Got Me" and says "Paris" is her favorite song to perform.
Potter says of the latest album, recorded in the Michael Jackson "monkey room," "We realized we're not the kind of band that's ever gonna fit neatly in one genre, and this time we just let the songs be the songs. ... You have to either want to dance to it or cry to it."
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals were named One of the Best Bands of 2010 by Rolling Stone magazine. Their new album made its debut in the Top 20 on Billboard's Top 200 and got to No. 1 on the iTunes Rock Album chart. Potter made a recent solo appearance at the Hollywood Bowl, performing with Stevie Wonder, among others. The band plays more than 200 shows a year, appeared this summer at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago and headlines a show in New York's Central Park on September 24, just before coming to Jorgensen.
Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts is located at 2132 Hillside Road on the UConn campus in Storrs. Tickets are $42 for floor, $37 for mezzanine and $32 for balcony; student tickets are $20, $18 and $15. Tickets are now on sale at jorgensen.uconn.edu. For more information, call the Box Office at 860.486.4226, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Convenient free parking is available in the North Garage.