Grace Potter and the Nocturnals @ the Higher Ground, Burlington VT 12.27.09

She is: Part show dancer, part soul-rocker, part rock diva, part badass blues godess. Countless times from the raucous Vermont crowd excited young men gleamed, “You’re hot!” And for good reason. She’s pretty easy on the eyes, lets put it that way. “Sexy” was probably the word being repeated by men and women alike on this cold, wintery Sunday evening in Vermont’s Northwest corner. At first glance, its not hard to see why she’s been on my mind since sunday. She has become an infatuation (This is evident by the pics i have included below).

She’s also been every Vermonter’s golden girl for over 5 years now and for this homecoming, there was something special in the air. On the second of a 4 day extravaganza at Burlington’s famous Higher Ground, with the last show culminating at a highly anticipated New Years Eve show, the signs were evident. The sexy, sultry, 24 year old native of Waitsfield, Vermont was most definately having a ball. And so were the Nocturnals.

Its clear that they feed off of each other. At one point all 5 band members were headbanging simultaneously, which was a sight to behold. The set flowed through with some old and of course some new tunes. “Stop the bus and turn the radio up high….grab the first guitar you see”, roll the lyrics of one of the new rockin numbers, “Stop the Bus”. And that’s just what you’ll want to do when you hear it. The band definately turned out some rockin grooves. And Grace loves to manifest her diversity as a musician. She plays equal parts lead singer, rhythm acoustic and electric guitar, and hammond B3 organ. And she plays them well…..At least the keys. As for the guitar she really just plays a lot of open tunings and a couple of chords. But who really cares. They rock. And its not hard to see why.

She and the Nocturnals have been turning out thier whisky and cigarettes-style rock and roll and are catapulting to national fame. Thier most recent album, “This is Somewhere”, a title that most likely alludes to Neil Youngs first album, “Everyone Knows This is Nowhere”, is thier first on a major label. (They signed with Hollywood Records and released This is Somewhere in August). Neil Young is just one of the many influences of the band that you can gather by simply tuning in to thier most recent or previous two albums. The band has also been known to play a righteous cover of Young’s “Cortez the Killer”. (You can find it at a great website Those influences are deeply rooted, but close to the surface. Grace states “Inspiration comes from different places… I listen to the way Aretha played the piano, and it’s almost like I never try to play like anybody but [rather] I try to play as if I was on stage playing with them.”

That’s just straight cool.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals stay true to thier down home roots. She sings and carries herself with a character and, shall I say, grace, that is infectious and inspiring. If you ask me, there is nothing cooler than a sexy, rockin woman, that can hit the organ like no other and sing like a blues godess. Rock on.

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