Nothing But the Water [CD/DVD]

Nothing But the Water [CD/DVD]

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by Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
     
 

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While the 22-year-old Grace Potter's vocal influences are obvious -- Bonnies Raitt and Bramlett, Susan Tedeschi, and Lucinda Williams -- it's what she does with her voice that is most impressive. This sophomore indie album gets all the parts right. Even though the band is fromSee more details below

Overview

While the 22-year-old Grace Potter's vocal influences are obvious -- Bonnies Raitt and Bramlett, Susan Tedeschi, and Lucinda Williams -- it's what she does with her voice that is most impressive. This sophomore indie album gets all the parts right. Even though the band is from Vermont, there is no denying the Southern blues, gospel and swamp rock that course through its veins. Potter's songs, all co-written with her group, grind through a combination of the Band, J.J. Cale (whom she namechecks on the opening "Toothbrush and My Table"), Taj Mahal, and Tift Merritt. Although it is self-recorded, Nothing but the Water exudes a professional sound and the band knows when to play and when to lay back. Lyrically, Potter is stuck on the lost love track, but she makes the most of that overworked concept with smart, savvy words that retain an air of mystery. She's got a terrific, grainy voice, but it's her piano and Hammond B-3 playing that really set her apart from the pack. The organ adds a gospel flavor -- part Gregg Allman, part Booker T., part Steve Winwood -- that pushes this material from good to great. "Treat Me Right" throbs with a sexuality perfectly echoed in the band's skeletal swamp funk backing. In particular, Scott Tournet's slide guitar pushes the rollicking "Sweet Hands" down Highway 61 as Potter charges through lyrics such as "it's like touch and go without the touch" with a mix of sassy fire and feisty intensity. "Joey" tells the story of spousal abuse with images that are powerful and scary ("He looks me in the eye, he'll hit me 'til I cry"). She goes full Delta blues/Bonnie Raitt mode on the acoustic "2:22," accompanied only by acoustic guitar and subtle standup bass. It's an impressive track and shows she could be a fine traditional blues singer if she wanted to pursue that avenue. The final trilogy of tracks is the album's highlight. Shifting from the spooky instrumental "Below the Beams" to the a cappella gospel of "Nothing but the Water Pt.1" and into the song's rollicking "Pt. 2," the band fires on all cylinders as Potter spits out the gospel words powered by her own keyboards and the band's surging storm of blues-rock. It caps an impressive release that only scratches the surface of what this band can generate live. [This CD/DVD version of the album comes packaged with an accompanying 40-minute, five-song, live DVD that reprises three of the album's tracks, adds a few new ones, and shows how powerful a presence Potter and her band can be on-stage.]

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/23/2006
Label:
Fontana Hollywood
UPC:
0720616259028
catalogNumber:
162590
Rank:
8556

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals   Primary Artist
Grace Potter   Indexed Contributor,Piano,Hammond Organ,Tambourine,Vocals,Wurlitzer
Jennifer Crowell   Tambourine,Vocals
Matt Burr   Percussion,Drums,Trash Cans
Scott Tournet   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Guitar (Resonator)
Bryan Dondero   Electric Bass,Upright Bass

Technical Credits

Stephen Marcussen   Remastering
Stewart Whitmore   Digital Editing
Matt Burr   Composer,Producer,Cover Photo
Scott Tournet   Composer,Producer
Grace Potter   Composer,Producer
Bryan Dondero   Composer,Producer

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