Tag Archives: Grace Potter

On the road with Grace Potter

The Nocturnals’ front woman talks about finding her own place in music

By Sue Zalokar
Staff Writer

Last year, a fresh face hit the country music scene when Grace Potter  performed a duet with Kenny Chesney on “You and Tequila”.  The Vermont beauty had already made a name for herself in the Rock world a year before. In December of 2010, Grace Potter made an appearances at the VH1 Divas Support the Troops concert. It was a tipping point for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, a band that had its own successes, but nothing like the tsunami of interest that followed the show — fans crashed the band’s website in its wake.

For a few days last summer, their self-titled album even nudged out The Beatles as the top selling artists on iTunes.

Viewers who made it through online quickly learned that Potter is far from a country singer. She and her band are mercurial performers, having made a name for themselves with raucous, lively, rock ‘n’roll performances.

Last week, this dynamic frontwoman, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer celebrated her 29th birthday on stage surrounded by her favorite people, a marching band, and a margarita in hand. This spring, the band released its fourth album, “The Lion The Beast The Beat.” She took time out from her tour, which includes a show July 19 at the Oregon Zoo to talk about her music, sex appeal and the power of a good meal.

Sue Zalokar: How did you and music find one another?

Grace Potter: I fell in love with music by watching movies and cartoons as a little kid. My parents just had videos and so I watched movies. There was a rule in our house that we couldn’t just watch TV, we had to do something. So my sister would paint, my brother would dabble in some kind of crayon situation and I would sit at the piano and play along to the movies. I realized very early on that I had an ear for catching whatever was happening in the sonic landscape and recreating it in my own way.

S.Z.: You grew up in rural Vermont on, as I have heard you call it, the Shire. Can you tell me a bit about Potterville?

G.P.: My parents built it when they were crazy hippies dropping acid in the early ’70s and they were reading “Lord of the Rings.” My dad had this vision of building a house that kind of reflected a lot of the storyline of the book. It’s part Shire, part Rivendell. It’s a beautiful place and as it grew, as the family grew and my parents businesses grew, they just kept building little buildings. They just sort of sprouted up like mushrooms. It turned into a little bit of a compound. It also was a place that the whole band moved back to and we all slept and ate and played music together for the first couple of years as we were coming up as a new rock ‘n’roll band.

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Extra! Extra!

ImageWhatever your plans are for the weekend, make sure you’ve got the new edition of Street Roots in hand and on standby. It’s packed full of good reads for an afternoon break, a Sunday morning on the stoop, or the ride home on the bus. Here’s what’s rolling on the press right now:

On the road with Grace Potter: The lithe and lively front-woman for the Nocturnals talks about finding her place in many music scenes.

City’s alcohol impact area goes flat with OLCC: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission said Portland can’t go forward as planned on banning large-serving, high-alcohol beverages downtown.

Designated drivers: A ride-along in the CHIERS van as it picks up revelers who have had a few too many.

The gravity of abuse: The fourth and final installment of our series on one family’s journey through domestic violence.

Plus, commentary and insight from Partnership for Safety and Justice, Portland economist Robin Hahnel and Ramona’s mom, Melissa Favara. As always, there’s more than meets the eye to every vendor and every edition of Street Roots. So tuck a buck before you head out and look for your local vendor Friday morning! Thank you!