Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The Grace Potter that we had the second to last time she and the band stopped by was certainly a good deal of the whole package that is the fiery Vermont resident. It just wasn't the fiery part. It was the part of Potter that likely puts her in the place to get as lively and as sexy as she's known to get when she performs. It's the part of her that makes up most of the woman that one doesn't see when she's at "the office," wearing her impossibly short skirts, throwing herself around like a tornado and singing her brains and her heart out, as men and other women alike, make lascivious eyes at her.
Oh, the men see the skin and all that leg and it drives them bananas, but they appreciate it all, when she gets going. It's probably a little bit of the same with the ladies in attendance, but then there's a jealousy thing happening, when they look over at their red-faced and flustered men, needing to elbow them in the ribs to reel them back to reality.
Potter is reality though and on that last recording session, done on a rainy and gloomy day that she and her excellent back purposefully played up, she performed three songs from her last album, all of which show her as that woman who needs the comfort of a stable home, with a stable love, that everyone else is longing for as well.
She'd like to be able to appreciate all of the little things that seem to blast by her, with her hectic-beyond-belief crazy life demanding that it have all of her attention. She'd like to hang out and actually experience a full Vermont autumn, smell the maples airing their sweet blood out and into the open. She'd like to just rest and soak in all the good stuff, those vibes that she believes in so much. She wants time to slow down. What it really means is that she'd like to slow down just a little bit, but then she must bite her tongue when she says or thinks such things, for that would change everything.
She's okay with goodbye kisses because they lead her elsewhere, off to something new and exciting, something that's unplanned and abnormal, something that others don't get the chance to do. Oh, sure, the goodbye kiss is a sad moment, but usually that's just for one of the two. You get the feeling that Potter rarely has to feel the saddest of those involved with any such kisses. In fact, in her song commemorating these particular kisses, she makes the move sound whimsical and something that two people should do after a picnic lunch in the park, some decent wine and some okay conversation. It should be the natural thing to do. Potter is that ball of fire that we see when she performs. She's that flurry of hair and glitter. She lives for the rush, but she's even more the woman who can't believe any of it is really happening to her. You get the feeling that she's still that girl trying to make it and, no matter how big any of it ever gets, she'll not take any of it for granted.
*Essay originally published September, 2011
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals Official Site