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Published: 2011/11/14

Catherine Popper Leaves Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

In a statement posted to her Facebook page, bassist Catherine Popper has announced her departure from Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. Popper is the second bassist to part ways with the band, following the departure of Bryan Dondero in early 2009. The statement from Popper’s facebook page reads:

“Hey everybody for the past two and a half years, GPN has been my family away from my family. We’ve all grown so much together. So it’s with sadness that I want y’all to know the Goodnight Irene benefit in VT in September was my last gig with GPN in the foreseeable future. It was a bittersweet night, to be sure, and we had a kind farewell as they left to go make a new record. I’m a lucky so-and-so to have been a part of that crew for as long as I was and I wish them all the joy the world has to offer.”

The news of Popper’s departure comes on the heels of a major tour announcement that will see the band perform at stadiums with country stars Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw.


There are 68 comments associated with this post

Confused November 14, 2011, 18:09:06

Sounds like CP didn’t want to head in the direction that the rest of us think GPN are headed….alongside Kenny Chesney. I smell Grace Potter solo career when the country record companies start pounding down her tour. Too bad…

A. M. Saddler November 14, 2011, 18:16:22

Wishing Cat the best with whatever she will do next. Slight error in the above article. Catherine was the third bassist for GPN. Corey Beard
Bryan Dondero
Catherine Popper

K Cortez November 14, 2011, 18:26:27

Seriously doubt that Cat’s departure had anything to do with the Chesney announcement other than occurring on the same day.

MP November 14, 2011, 18:34:03

Really uneasy with the direction that the band seems to be heading. Collectively, they have brought new light and fantastic rock n’ roll to the current music scene. I really hope they don’t lose their originality and soul.

Sam November 14, 2011, 18:44:39

what would warren haynes do?

Marisol November 14, 2011, 18:53:05

Maybe GP is too much of a hooch to work with. I met her, she was nasty. As talented as she undoubtedly is, I immediately stopped listening to her music because of that encounter. I’ve heard from others in the business that it wasn’t just me.

MP November 14, 2011, 19:04:52

Warren Haynes would not go on a flashy stadium tour with Kenny Chesney, that is for sure!

Joe November 14, 2011, 19:11:43

I’ve met Grace a few times and each time she was very nice, funny, and flirty. I think she is excellent all the way around, but maybe she didn’t like being the second hottest female in her own band.
Go knockem dead CP!

JSky November 14, 2011, 19:13:11

Kenny Chesney tour…….WTF?

Jorge November 14, 2011, 19:17:43

Maybe Cat was tired of watching Grace blow dogs for quarters.

Tim November 14, 2011, 19:38:11

Remember, CP missed a couple of gigs, at least one of which was blamed on her diabetes. I think she’s gorgeous, played a great bass and was a perfect counter to GP’s flamboyance. Always seemed to be an enigma. Sort of like the Stone’s drummer who always has this bemused look on his face, as did CP. She did say “foreseeable future”, and sounded sincerely bummed at leaving. Hope it gets straightened out and she’s able to come back before the tour. That’ll be a big payday & she earned it. We love’ya Cat!! XOXOXOX!!

Angelemerald November 14, 2011, 19:40:55

Warren Haynes’ band Gov’t Mule opened for Kid Rock and other similar artists. So please, get over your romantic view of musicians. GPN are taking opportunities that are being presented. No one has any idea that the Kenny Chesney tour is the reason why Catherine is leaving. If you do know Grace’s music, from her very first solo release you know her music runs from a folk rock to a more rock oriented edge. Even their last cd has Things I Never Needed on it and imho, it was the best cut and way overlooked. I personally prefer my rock stars to be popular and make a good living instead of toiling away in relative obscurity playing the shittiest venues. Maybe that’s just me? Anyway, good luck to Catherine and to the GPN. They are all worthy musicians and I appreciate all the music they’ve offered.

MP November 14, 2011, 20:45:35

I’m not saying that I don’t want to see GPN break barriers, succeed and recruit new fans along the way. Directionally, they could have taken a few different routes to do so. For instance, after opening for KC at Red Rocks in July, they opened for the sold out Avett Brothers the following night and totally killed it, acquiring many new fans from that show alone. Regardless, excited to have GPN back in Denver this summer…and hope they throw in a show at The Ogden while they’re here.

cbag November 14, 2011, 20:46:44

Really GPN is just filling a void there are not many bands out there doing what they do. You can see this by them going national so quick. Are they really that good? I think they are just an outlet for weak minded men to go see with thier girls and maybe get some after. Sure they can create a good time? But is it original? Its like DBM but female? Wait what yup, not a jamband? I love how this comment board is unmoderated! yeeeuuuppp!

cbag November 14, 2011, 20:52:40

clearly meant DMB FWIW in case you didn’t figure it out. Yeeeuuupppp!

commenter November 14, 2011, 21:36:37

I hope she’s going back to the Cardinals!

wags November 14, 2011, 22:15:37

It’s sad to see Popper leave, cause she is that good. CP is amazing, listen to Cold Roses and you’ll hear it. I wonder who they are going to get next? I liked CP cause it seemed she flowed well with the GPN team. Who knows what’s gonna happen. As a fan of GPN and CP it is a sad day. I hope they both get what they are searching for. I’m bummed though.

drasticjasper November 15, 2011, 03:52:01

two words: Tedeschi/Trucks

Sam November 15, 2011, 08:35:18

Warren and his wife are about making a living through playing music. It’s a business. Which is fine. Was he thinking about his morals or his paycheck when he spent years w/ racist David Allen Coe? Ugh. Got to hand it to him, though. Not every one can make a living by playing the same solo in every song. Best of luck to Grace Potter. She’s put in the time. She deserves a pay day just like any one else.

wow e. mandel November 15, 2011, 08:36:42

wowie mandel

Chucky cheese string November 15, 2011, 10:30:27

I heard she wanted…...MORE COWBELL!!

Paul November 15, 2011, 10:48:43

Grace Potter wants to be the next Carrie Underwood. Who’s the DICK SAM who says Warren plays the same solo everytime? he know nothing about music.

TCinNYC November 15, 2011, 11:54:17

I think GPN are so over rated. I have seen them live 3 times, in tiny venues so thats a decent sample size & I find their live show boring. Grace is talented no doubt, but imo the rest of the band is just OK. I wish everyone well, but i doubt I ever pay $$ to see them again.

jason baron November 15, 2011, 12:34:10

would people even care about this band if she wasn’t smoking hot?

Kevin Doyle November 15, 2011, 12:48:18

I had a horrible experience with Catherine Popper when she was playing with Ryan Adams. I’ve never met anyone more entitled and arrogant. GPN will be much better off.

CD November 15, 2011, 13:14:01

Warren Haynes plays the same solo in every song? Wow. You’re obviously not a Gov’t Mule Fan or an ABB fan or really a fan of music at all for that mattter. Warren Haynes is one of the best guitarists on the planet period. You should get on board, it just might change your life.

Richard C November 15, 2011, 13:18:45

I would like to see the band add a male bass player that could sing. Many options open up to this band with an addition of a duet partner for Grace and additional harmonies.

Fancyassmusic November 15, 2011, 13:23:42

As a working bass player I can understand why Catherine made a career decision that was best for her. Im sure the stars were aligned just right and the opportunity lent itself to her and she took it. No shame in that. To be able to play music for a living is a joy so why not perpetuate it? She has definitely earned it. Rock on CP.

Jim November 15, 2011, 14:03:52

Maybe they weren’t making enough money to split it 5 ways??? Although her arrival marked a more commercial turn to the band I thought she was a good addition. The only thing is I never felt that her talent was on display in GPN as much as it was when she was with Ryan Adams. GPN music loud and the bass lines she played more simple, where with Adams quieter music her voice and playing were more apparent.

where's my mule? November 15, 2011, 14:08:36

hey sam how bout f#%**ing yourself warren playing the same solo? just listen to the deepest end or the 5th anniversary of the deepest end why don“t you stick to kid rock or little wayne

original soul November 15, 2011, 15:23:13

never was a CP fan. will she keep her fake GP hair, that is the question. GET FUKD! Long gone are the golden days of old when it was about music. Keep it up Grace, you are losing as many fans as you are gaining. money money money money

original soul November 15, 2011, 15:34:26

and Sam is an idiot.

finding a new band November 15, 2011, 21:32:51

I’ve been a Potter fan for even longer than her stalker K.Cortez. Unfortunately, I just can’t follow them around anymore. It’s getting too expensive for the same old show, and I’m not digging the country turn. It’s one thing to play a little twang and rock a little country influence, but that it certainly not the same as spending the entire summer playing with Chesney and Mcgraw. It may be great for the band to find a new, bigger audience. True fans seem to be getting left in the dust. Cat got while the getting was good.

Angelemerald November 15, 2011, 23:31:12

I love Grace Potter and her band A LOT and think Scott Tournet is a very good guitarist who does not play in a heavy-handed way which is rather refreshing in the sea of heavy-handed guitarists. Grace, Scott and Benny Yurco are three of the best song writers in rock music today (listen to Blues and Lasers and get introduced to Scott and Benny’s writing). The absolute best live rock band touring today is the Tedeschi Trucks Band and Derek is the BEST and most ORIGINAL slide guitarist in the world. But the absolute best electric blues/rock guitarist in the world touring today is Joe Bonamassa. He is an animated performer, a heartfelt blues and rock singer and writes some excellent songs as well. Check out his last few cds, even though he doesn’t fit in the “jamband” scene as neatly as some other performers. Which is similar to GPN. And again, rather refreshing if you ask me.

jwm4 November 15, 2011, 23:49:48

Bunch of knuckleheads showing their you-know-whats above. As someone else noted, Warren’s first big break as a musician came when he was invited to join David Allan Coe’s band, whom Wikipedia calls an “outlaw” country music singer/songwriter. After touring with Coe for four years, where’d Warren go next? To that mecca of southern rock and blues known as Nashville, TN! He played as a session guitarist for country music artists until he met Dickie Betts. Dickie, in case you numbskulls didn’t know, brought the country twang to the Allman Brothers (much to brother Gregg’s chagrin). All those commercially successful ABB tunes played on the radio were written by Dickie (Ramblin Man, Revival, Blue Sky, Jessica) and heavily influenced by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, traditional Country and Western and blues/soul. So get off your high horse about Warren not doing country – he did it for the first 7-8 years of his career. In terms of GPN selling out, what a crock of poo that claim is. Nobody’s heard note one from their new album, so alleging that they’ve sold out to country is absurd. They’re doing 15-20 shows with two of the top names in Country (note that its not C&W any more). No sane business person in their right mind would turn down such an opportunity. They don’t have to play country at those gigs. Will Grace sing Tequila with KC? Of course. Will she sit in and show off her talents in other ways with KC & McGraw? Probably. For everyone in thGPN, this is the music industry equivalent of the “Big Show”. Those who think they play music just because the love music need their heads examined. It’s a career, and a business. Sure they love music, but at the end of the day, the entire music industry is a BUSINESS. It’s just one that’s more fun that what most of us get to do for a living. Furthermore, I don’t think Grace Potter’s voice and talents will ever be limited to any one genre. She already does blues, soul, rock&roll, gospel, Big Band (Fly Me to the Moon) and pop. What’s wrong with throwing some country in there? The Beatles, Stones, Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker, Lynyrd Skynrd, Grateful Dead and too many other artists to name have played a few country tunes. Were they sellouts?

Buckster November 16, 2011, 14:53:43

I wish Cat all the best. I hope this isn’t a decision based on a health issue. I must admit that I liked the NBTW and TIS records better than the last one, but in the end you try to further yourself as a musician, and as fickle as the industry has always been (15 minutes of fame) I can see why Grace wants the exposure this tour will bring. But I have no interest in KC and his “sunshine” band or Tim McGraw…..Sad thing that Cat won’t be in the pocket holding the groove down with Matt in GPN. They gave me several musical thrills I feel won’t be available anymore.

Nadine November 16, 2011, 15:37:22

I’m so sad that Cat is leaving! I met her at Subway before one of their shows and she was unbelievably nice, funny, and gracious. I wish her all the best in what ever she does! As for the rest of the band, I think it’s great that they are doing this tour thing. Bands and musicians always keep it changing; remember when Bob Dylan went from being a one man band to actually having a backing band? Many people were pissed and said he had sold out, but in truth as you grow as a musician, you realize that you can’t remain the exact same. You grow as a human being and as an artist, remaining stagnant is not always a good thing.

Chucky cheese string November 16, 2011, 17:08:03

Potter…....that’s hot!!

Koppe November 16, 2011, 23:14:55

Grace is so talented, love the guys too. Hope they will play a few small clubs along the way in 2012. I will always be a fan and will weather the changes.

Chucky cheese string November 17, 2011, 09:47:42

Hey Nadine…..what did she order at Subway?

Nadine November 17, 2011, 15:13:52

I have no clue…I was just sitting there trying not to freak out. She was really nice though and didn’t seem annoyed or freaked out when I came up to her.

Peter November 22, 2011, 08:11:54

PLEASE say she is joing Ryan Adams again! that would be amazing! p.s. free album at

Sam November 22, 2011, 09:58:56

No, Warren plays the same solo. He does. Sorry. Been playing it for years. Lay down a i-IV change and stand back. He’ll shred it up. But any monkey can do the same thing. There are a hundred guitarists that can play just like him. That’s why you like him. It’s approachable. I read a review of one of his shows in the NY Times back in 2003 that nailed it for me. The reviewer used the phrase “15 minute blues dirge”. People get excited when Gov’t Mule plays a cover song. They use his originals as a chance to go to the bathroom. Allow me to educate you.
Christian McBride, James Carter, Adam Rogers, Chris Potter, Eric Krasno, the Evans brothers, John Medeski, Craig Taborn, Nate Smith, Joe Lovano, Brian Blades, Geoff Keezer, Marc Ribot Check these musicians out. Real musicians with something new to offer. Adventurous music that demands the musician “go for it”. Come to the city, gentlemen. You’ll see and hear new and wonderful things each night.

DJ November 24, 2011, 21:46:28

Grace will stay true to her music….some of her songs could easily be called country. Also, Just because it is called country doesn’t mean they don’t rock. Have you ever been to Nashville? ALL kinds of music and bands …

DC November 28, 2011, 13:49:23

Any of you who do not appreciate GPN’s music and talent, well you just have no clue what good music is, at all. For the sake of GPN, and all of us that do appreciate the work that this band does, and the the beautiful music they write, do us a favor, listen to this band again…....its as good, if not better than anything out there today… need to say more…....! GPN is AWESOME!!

Thomas December 16, 2011, 02:26:12

I admire you for staying with GPN this long! You have played with more renouned muscians than any of the other members of this band. Your talent was never really shown. It’s was always all Grace. And touring with a family in a crowded bus for as long as you did takes courage. Your health required constant attention and to maintain it with exposure to other elements is admirable. I’ll be in Brooklyn Monday night to see an incredibly great bass player with PUSS & BOOTS as well as a unique sexy lady!

bill April 6, 2012, 18:33:32

i can’t imagine that a GPN that will satisfy chesney/mcgraw fans will satisfy me. i can’t blame her for going for the big payday, and that’s clearing the way they have been positioning her career. personally i hate it, but for every “me” (serious music lover/fan) she loses, she’ll pick up 10 cowboy hat wearing frat boys that can sing along with the chorus of whatever song her label is selling for commercials or to country radio.

Brad April 7, 2012, 20:19:06

I’ve seen GPN several times… amazing! They definitely have a lot of country roots, but I really dig when they go blues-rock-psychelia! Unfortunately, a 15-minute Oasis jam won’t go over well with the CMT crowd and I’m afraid GPN is going devolve into mainstream country pop… Summer 2013 tour will be Grace Potter and the Rascal Flatts.

UKDave April 21, 2012, 09:34:25

As quite a recent addition to GPN’s fanbase, (they haven’t made it over to the UK yet) I must say I was initially lured in by hearing the new music and then totally hooked by hearing the older stuff, I don’t care what they get classed as by people/industry eager to pigeon hole others country/Blues/rock/pop, who cares Good is good, and my only worry is that the loss of Cat Popper will make the Band somehow less than they were. I’m sorry Cat is not currently with GPN i would have liked to seen her with the band, I will definately be following this young lady’s career with interest, and wish her the best of luck for the future. I am going to see GPN in May at HOB,and Jazzfest, NOLA and i will certainly miss Cat’s energy and enthusiasm on stage as well as her obvious musical talents.

Kent April 25, 2012, 17:17:34

I love me some “GRACE”! Had a crush on another(Slick) as a teen. Currently on Ms Potter as a not so young teen! Her spirit just flows through her music and it’s intoxicating!! Had I the $$$ I would buy Front Row seats to her gigs(everynight) and get wasted! I don’t see GPN selling out as some suggest. But I am bummed that Cat is gone! Don’t know the real(truth)reason. That is not why I’m here! I just want to party with this band until the sun no longer shines! All the best to GPN and to Cat P!

Kent April 25, 2012, 17:17:35

I love me some “GRACE”! Had a crush on another(Slick) as a teen. Currently on Ms Potter as a not so young teen! Her spirit just flows through her music and it’s intoxicating!! Had I the $$$ I would buy Front Row seats to her gigs(everynight) and get wasted! I don’t see GPN selling out as some suggest. But I am bummed that Cat is gone! Don’t know the real(truth)reason. That is not why I’m here! I just want to party with this band until the sun no longer shines! All the best to GPN and to Cat P!

shane cuppett April 26, 2012, 00:11:25

Hate to see CP leave… wish her the best. GPN doing a country stadium tour doesn’t mean her music’s going country, or selling out. Choosing to be the opening band for two country megastars on a summer long stadium tour is a well calculated career move, and for good reason. There’s a ton of country fans and they’re extremely loyal. Can’t blame an artist for wanting their music to be exposed to as many people as possible. GPN have paid their dues and earned the opportunity to be as big as they aspire to be.

Roland orsaball May 21, 2012, 01:47:57

I can’t wait to see it when the label makes grace tour and makes some videos with Toby Keith and start dressing all trailer trash and then she’ll be like “ I’ve always dressed like this!” Keep keepin it real Grace and you douchbags that mindlessly follow along!

snakedoctor June 1, 2012, 14:44:19

I’ve been a Cat fan since the cardinals and always will be.

1timeguest June 16, 2012, 03:16:38

Grace did a duet with Kenny that was a smash hit on country stations. Not sure why GPN fans would not know this but I learn new stuff every 2 years so I’m no different I guess…

Wiley T June 23, 2012, 14:28:17

Just saw GPN in Knoxville last night. Cat’s departure caught me completely by surprise. The show was good, but nowhere near the monster they performed there in 2010. I guess Cat played a major part in that for me…...and I ain’t ashamed to say it. ( :

Shannon July 11, 2012, 19:41:35

Rock, Country what ever I believe I will always listen, it is her voice that I love, it is her way on stage I love. If everyone could be so care free that way, and if it is not real it would be great if some people could fake being care free. I think she is amazing!

Ndj July 14, 2012, 22:34:38

F , warren Hayes & Kenny chesney

lenore veltry July 22, 2012, 10:24:40

Gp is not country…and she sucks at the Chesney/Mcgraw concert….Everyone goes for bathroom/beer breaks

paulie September 12, 2012, 08:30:35

Use to love GPN. Started the downhill spiral when she went comm with Chesney and Mcgraw. With Cat gone. No reason for me to watch or listen to the new Carrie Underwood.

Elden September 20, 2012, 03:20:32

I don’t think it’s a conflict between the two ladies. Cat is great but, Grace is the band. It’s all the record company decision. Eventually it will just be Grace Potter…That’s why I don’t like names of bands with a persons name in it. Egos can get kind of thick….Still like the band. Hope that they aren’t eventually considered country. But, country music nowadays isn’t country. It’s rock with a fiddle, a slide guitar and a occational banjo. I.E. Kenny and Tim’s new stupid video…..

Agent Stardog November 2, 2012, 15:41:13

Just saw Grace & the Nocturnals for the first time since Cat left and they were not as good. They still rock, but too many veers into pop territory and not as jammy as when Cat was pumping up that low end. I really do wonder whether label peeps helped wedge her out. I think Tedeschi Trucks Band should absolutely go after her to replace the huge loss of Oteil. She would fit right in there…

Mikey November 12, 2012, 10:26:13

saw GPN last night at Houston House Of Blues…great show, though I really missed Cat P. the new lefty on Bass was good. Sure would have liked to hear Big White Gate, but I guess it just don’t fit no more.

Adam December 31, 2012, 23:39:02

They played “Big White Gate” during a masterful 2 1/2 hour set in LA in early November — Gracie claims they are playing requests, so maybe you just got a night where that one didn’t come up?

ghost of GPN February 17, 2013, 22:42:37

CP playing with Jack White as one of the Peacocks. Looks like she found a place to play a better brand of music now that GPN has sold out.

ron March 4, 2013, 17:13:43

I really liked the sound of the band when CP was with them. Not really interested in the direction they are going now and they have become boring. In my opion, CP was a major part, backbone, and influence in the band’s sound. And now that CP is gone, the band lost that great sound and a great voice, too.
Also, I think Grace just realized that CP was stealing alot of her fire and was a bit jealous. CP was was the real talent as a musician within the whole GPN band. I believe, that, all too often CP had more of the fan’s attention than Grace. CP will always have some place to go, because of her talent!......If the Noctunals disband, where would Grace go?
Best to you, CP

kay west October 19, 2014, 00:23:10

They didn’t get along to well after a while. Things like wardrobe and stage performance issues.

brad houze December 28, 2014, 05:25:48

sorry to see cat go, but she,ll be around.someone here said cat was the best bass player on the planet. shes good but geddy lee from rush is holding that crown will have to wait till he dies to get that shot.

Brooke April 14, 2015, 09:53:01

Looks like Grace didn’t like being the second most talent and hot girl in the group…

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