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Evening Grace
by Bob Margolis
January 14, 2010 01:00 AM | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It's amazing that Grace Potter is not even 30. The Vermont native laughs easily and radiates good-natured vitality onstage, fronts a crack band and writes actual songs - not just vehicles for a jam. Her looks, charismatic stage presence and potent voice (think of a cross between Bonnie Raitt and Linda Ronstadt) have earned her an ever-increasing legion of fans, many of whom swoon openly, professing their amour on the band's Facebook and MySpace pages. With the new version of the Nocturnals who play the Bearsville Theater on Friday, January 22 - guitarist Benny Yurco has joined the band, and bassist Catherine Popper has replaced Brian Dondero - be not surprised if the leader spends more time in front of the stage, leaving behind for a bit her Hammond B-3.

Potter and drummer Matt Burr met as undergraduates at St. Lawrence University in upstate New York and have never looked back. Potter and her bandmates have displayed an independent streak, declining deals in order to control their musical direction. Original Soul (2004) and Nothing but the Water (2005) are self-produced, blues-based albums that remind a listener of that mid-1970s groove/blues/crunch trifecta. After turning down a deal with Universal five years ago, they built up leverage and a fanbase, ultimately inking a deal with Hollywood Records. This Is Somewhere (2007) debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart and led the group to be seen on NBC's Tonight Show, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS's Late Show with David Letterman. A new record, produced by the renowned T-Bone Burnett, is scheduled for release in the spring.

Expect well-crafted songs and a healthy dose of soulful rockers featuring lead guitarist Scott Tournet's wonderful tone and Potter's throbbing B3 Hammond organ. Tickets are $25. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., Uglysuit opens at 8:30 and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals go on at 9:30. Call (845) 679-4406 for info.

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