Grace Potter ready to test new tunes on fall tour

, Staff

Grace Potter and The Nocturnals have revealed plans for a fall tour to preview material off their forthcoming album. The Vermont-based band will hit Boston’s House of Blues on Thursday, November 19. Tickets for the show, which will also feature opener Brett Dennen, are now on sale via Ticketmaster for $25 and $35.

After completing work on their T Bone Burnett-produced third album for Ragged Company/Hollywood Records, which is now in its final stages, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals will hit the road this fall in a new configuration. Catherine Popper (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, Hem) is the band’s new bass player, replacing original member Bryan Dondero, while their friend Benny Yurco will be added as rhythm guitarist on all tour dates.

Writer/singer/keyboard player Potter, guitarist Scott Tournet and drummer Matt Burr had planned on holding extensive auditions for the vacant bass slot in New York and L.A., but they first checked out Popper on a recommendation. “She came in, plugged in and played with us,” Grace recalled in a press release, “and by the end of the first song we knew she was absolutely, positively the perfect person for us. She completely understood the direction we wanted to go in.”&

As for the addition of Yurco, he sat in with the band (including Popper) during their performance for a special VH1 “School of Rock” 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival. “We all had that new-band buzz,” Potter explained. “We thought that if were making a lineup change, why not make it a whole new experience? Because we couldn’t really replace Bryan—he’d been with us too long for that. So having five members has made it a positive transition for all of us.”

Potter and company are currently working on their third album with with acclaimed producer& T Bone Burnett, a studio visionary who was recently awarded the Producer of the Year Grammy for Robert Plant & Alison Krauss’ collaboration Raising Sand. The core studio band features Potter, Tournet and Burr with three of Burnett’s go-to guys—drummer Jim Keltner, bassist Dennis Crouch and guitarist Marc Ribot.

So, what will the new album sound like? Grace calls their follow-up to 2007’s This Is Somewhere as “a soul record at its core, like the Velvet Underground backing Aretha Franklin.” She explains by saying, “There’s a spirituality—a soulfulness—that’s tapping into the Al Green vibe, but with a youth, a darkness and an edge to it that I wasn’t expecting.”

No official release date for the as yet untitled new album has been announced, though it is expected to hit stores before the end of the year.

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