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Published: 2007/08/22
by Joe Doherty

This is Somewhere – Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

Hollywood Records

Sorting through Grace Potter’s robust press packet is a difficult job. Indeed, the Vermont native gets her props. Try this on for size: Relix, Guitar World, Harp, Paste, Performing Songwriter and Glamour. Yes, Glamour (anyone who’s seen Potter knows it’s well-deserved). After digesting this litany of praise, one fact about Potter emerges as the most pressing:

The girl is only 24.

Potter, however, comes off as a woman who’s already lived a dozen lifetimes. On This is Somewhere, she delivers her roots-rock-Americana in a deep, penetrating singing voice that sounds aged, but far from tired.

She also sounds angry. Until only recently, Potter, a former activist who was arrested while marching on Washington during her college years, never wrote a political song. Until This is Somewhere, that is. “She’s the beat of my heart/She’s the shot of a gun/She’ll be the end of me/And maybe everyone,” she screams on the perhaps autobiographical opening track, “Ah Mary.”

Backed by her band, the Nocturnals guitarist Scott Tournet, bassist Bryan Dondero, and drummer Matt Burr — with the singer weaving delicate piano lines throughout Potter’s hooks occasionally lean toward pop-country (“Apologies”). Nevertheless, she channels soul through each note she carries. That soul, old or otherwise, will live on This is Somewhere forever. In the meantime, people better get use to Grace Potter. It looks like she is here to stay.

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