Grace Potter Biography
Grace Potter is an American musician, writer, multi-instrumentalist, and the lead vocalist of the rock band ‘Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’. The band was formed in 2002 when a group of musicians from St. Lawrence University teamed up to create music together. They released their first two albums on their own, but soon were offered to sing for Hollywood Records. Potter’s distinct voice quality, style statement and power packed performances amazed the world and still continue to entertain rock music lovers. Apart from being associated with the band, Potter has been widely recognised for her solos and collaborations with singers like Bethany Joy Galeotti, Kenny Chesney and Gregory Douglass. Raised amidst a musical background, Potter had realised early in life about her sole passion for music. Potter and her group also started the ‘Grand Point North Festival’ in Vermont to provide a platform for new and local talent which attract youngsters to the stage every year. Acting has been another forte of the rock star, who featured in many theatrical events and television shows. With the support of her husband and band mate, Matt Burr, Potter has been participating actively in various philanthropic activities and performances for charitable causes. As a tribute to her paternal grandfather who fought the disease, Potter is associated closely with the Alzheimer's Association. Touring across the globe with her band, Potter has gained fame and recognition after each concert.
- On 20th June 1983, Grace Potter was born to Peggy and Sparky Potter in Waitsfield, Vermont. Her father was a carpenter and her mother was a piano teacher whose early lessons laid the foundation of her musical journey.
- Young Grace grew up in Mad River Valley, cultivating interest in music from an early age by watching her mother play the piano and learning it from her at the tender age of six. Her family supported her to follow her passion of music and theatre.
- Potter attended the Harwood Union High School, in South Duxbury, Vermont, where she started singing in choirs. Encouragement from family and inspiration from musicians like Michael Jackson, Madonna and Kurt Cobain motivated her pursue a career in music.
- From 2002 to 2004 Potter pursued bachelor’s degree in theatre at St. Lawrence University, Saint Lawrence County, New York. Her enthusiasm for theatre was evident through participation in theatrical events where she worked with productions like ‘Cabaret’ & ‘The Pirates of Penzance’
- While performing folk songs in 2002, at a venue named ‘The Java Barn’, organized by students, Grace Potter was noticed by a drummer Matt Burr who offered to form a band with her.
- Potter accepted the offer when Courtright Beard, a bass player and friend from high school joined her college. The trio commenced their musical journey by composing songs influenced by jazz. Soon, the performances began with Potter being the main vocalist and also helping with the Hammond B-3.
- After guitarist Scott Tournet joined the group, the band was named ‘Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’. In 2003, Burr decided to dedicate their time completely to the band after moving back to Vermont. At this time, Beard stepped out and was substituted by Bryan Dondero.
- Potter’s musical career jump-started in 2004, with the release of the band’s debut album, ‘Original Soul’ through their label ‘Ragged Company’. The album was widely recognised and was even compared to renowned artists such as Norah Jones and Bonnie Raitt.
- The success brought in offers from famous labels, though the band continued their journey on their own, primarily focussing on concerts and performances which attracted many enthusiastic fans.
- Their second self-released album, ‘Nothing But the Water’ came out in 2005 and became extremely popular.
- This was followed by signing with ‘Hollywood Records’ for their third album, ‘This Is Somewhere’, which released in August 2007.
- In 2010, the band welcomed its new members Catherine Popper and Benny Yurco and released the album ‘Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ whose highlights were the singles ‘Tiny Light’ and ‘Paris (Ooh La La)’.
- Potter caught the attention of music lovers in 2010 while performing at the ‘VH1 Divas Salute the Troops’ along with Ann and Nancy Wilson of the rock band ‘Heart’.
- Potter’s soulful ballad with Kenny Chesney, ‘You and Tequila’ hit the charts in 2011 and became an instant hit worldwide.
- Around the same time, ‘Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ initiated the musical event, ‘Grand Point North Festival’ showcasing local acts in Vermont. The band continued to tour tirelessly in 2011 and 2012, while releasing a four-song Christmas EP and also a live album in the UK. The band recorded live at the Fillmore and released it in a digital download-only format.
- The year 2012 became a significant one for the band when Chesney invited them to perform at the ‘Brothers of the Sun’ tour, where they enthralled their country audiences. In June 2012, the band was also seen featuring in ‘VH1 Storytellers’ program.
- ‘The Lion the Beast the Beat’ released in 2012 and became the most loved release of the band, having a diverse collection of tracks recorded across the United States where Potter also took charge of production duties.
- Potter’s solo album ‘2015's Midnight’ produced and mixed by Eric Valentine, released in August 2015 and captured the charts.
- Potter continues to mesmerise her fans through performances at various events, updates of which can be found on her official site, ‘Gracepotter.com’.
- The band has recently announced their appearance at the ‘2017 Grand Point North’on 16th and 17thSeptember 2017, at Waterfront Park in Burlington, Vermont.
- Among her albums, ‘The Lion the Beast the Beat’ continues to be one the most appreciated.
- Other acclaimed albums include ‘Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ and ‘2015's Midnight’
- ‘The Lion the Beast the Beat’ reached highest levels of appreciation after being ranked 17 on ‘Billboard 200’.
- The duet song ‘You and Tequila’ by Potter and Chesney, was nominated at the ‘American Country Awards’under Single of the Year Vocal Collaboration. The vocalistsalso performed the ballad at the CMA Awards.
- While Potter was a fresher at St. Lawrence, she met drummer Matt Burr, a senior in college and thereafter the two got romantically involved. They started working towards a career in music together and became band mates until they married in the Caribbean on 11th May, 2013.
- The marriage was kept hidden from the eyes of the world until a label report released on 12thNovember 2013.
- The band name ‘Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ was chosen on account of the late night practice sessions during the early days of the band.
- Though music was her heart and soul, circumstances forced Potter to work in mundane profiles like babysitting, dishwashing, house painting and sandwich making. She has also worked as a general contractor and theatre director.
- Potter has been a part of a few television programs like ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ & ‘Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice’.
- Potter is also associated with several social and environmental non-profit organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association, KIND, Oceana, Central Park Conservancy and National Resources Defense Council.
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