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Grace Potter enjoying gradual climb to success

for Journal Register Newspapers

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Grace Potter and her band, the Nocturnals, haven’t had a platinum album or a big hit yet. But as far as the Vermont singer-songwriter is considered, her career since 2004 has been “perfect.”

“Everything has happened exactly as it should,” explains Potter, who’s promoting the Nocturnals’ third album, a self-titled set that came out last year and debuted at No. 19 on the Billboard 200 chart. “I’m glad the record didn’t pop straight to the top of the charts for a bunch of weeks. Things just climbed and gradually stuck in a really beautiful place.

“So it wasn’t an uncomfortable sort of jolt of attention, and that’s the way we’ve been doing it for all this time we’ve been a band. It’s just continually gradual, and it’s good to see the record grow and evolve.”

The album has taken Potter and company to the Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza festivals, as well as holding its own Grand Point North Festival last month in Vermont. The group will also play at New York’s Central Park later this month.

And it’s not just the rock world that’s catching on to Potter. Country fans have become converts, too, thanks to “You and Tequila,” a duet with Kenny Chesney for his most recent album, which was a Top 10 country hit and even reached No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

“It’s a real good fit, dude; you wouldn’t believe how comfortable I am out in front of the country crowd,” says Potter, who guested on a few shows with Chesney this summer. “That song I did with him is perfection, for me, in songwriting. And Kenny, he’s great. I’m not sure what it takes to bring that kind of light to the stage; he just makes so many people happy, and that’s all you can hope to do in life.

“So for me that’s the joy of the job. And if the music somehow can align itself, it’s a beautiful fit, and that’s what happened with that song.”

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals perform Thursday, Sept. 8, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 313-961-8137 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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