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"The Lion" still roars for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

@graffonmusic, www.facebook.com/garygraffonmusic

Posted: Monday, July 8, 2013

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Grace Potter turned 30 on June 20 doing two of her favorite things -- touring with her band, the Nocturnals, and going to Disneyland with her father.

"I was on the Indiana Jones ride at the stroke of midnight, which was a pretty bad-ass way to turn 30 -- acting like a three-year-old," Potter says with a laugh.

These days, of course, Potter and the Nocturnals have a lot to celebrate.

The group's fifth studio album, "the Lion the Beast the Beat" has been its most successful yet, hitting No. 17 on the Billboard 200 and delivering a hit ballad with the track "Stars." The group also toured with good buddies the Dave Matthews Band and were part of Kenny Chesney's summer 2012 stadium tour, but most of all Potter says she's happy the album has had legs throughout its 13-month and counting campaign.

"What we dreamed of for the record was longevity, that it would be a long-haul record," Potter says. "It's not a record we put out and it went straight to the top of the charts or would have songs on there that would appeal to a wide audience. We didn't have any interest in putting out a bunch of cute pop songs and churn it into the mill.

"We put out a record we could tour on and play live for as long as we have, up to two years of touring without the fear we were gonna get sick of the songs. So it's nice it happened that way."

The heart-rending "Stars" has shown staying power, too -- particularly, Potter says, in the aftermath of tragedies such as Sandy Hook and the Boston Marathon bombings. "For me that was a hard one to release at first because it's so personal. It was a little uncomfortable to open myself up like that," she says. "Then I realized within, like a week of the record being out it's not really my story or my song or why I write it anymore; it's for everyone to experience for themselves.

"So with 'Stars' I've heard from a lot of people telling me their stories and what the song meant to them. After Boston one of the families that lost a member said something nice about the record, and after Sandy Hook there were some families that reached out to ask me if they could use the lyrics in some personal services. To know (the song) could be part of something like that is pretty powerful, you know?"

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals perform with the Dave Matthews Band at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $75 pavilion and $40.50 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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