Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

PREVIEW [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

PREVIEW [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

Although she's played hundreds of gigs since then, Grace Potter does recall being part of the Flood City Music lineup back in 2009, sharing headlining honors with the Derek Trucks Band.

"I have very fond memories of that Flood City show," she says. "Even though I was only there for a day, I really got to absorb the vibe of the town. It's a special place. I remember I said at the end of the set, 'If you'll have me back, I'll be here!' Well, it only took seven years, but I'm finally coming back."

The powerhouse singer-songwriter, who headlines the Johnstown festival's opening night tonight, made her debut in 2005 fronting Vermont roots-rock band Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, which caught on as a tour opener for the likes of the Black Crowes and Dave Matthews Band. She also toured with Kenny Chesney, including 2012 at Heinz Field, and earned a Grammy nomination with the country star for the song "You and Tequila."

Having done four albums with the Nocturnals, she took a full-on pop detour into Sheryl Crow territory and even veering into dance-pop last year on solo debut "Midnight," joined by members of Fitz & the Tantrums, The Flaming Lips and Queens of the Stone Age.

She's on tour with the seven-piece Magical Midnight Roadshow - featuring Nocturnals' guitarist Benny Yurco, keyboard players Eliza Hardy Jones and T-Ben Alleman, drummers Daiki Hirano and Matt Musty and bassist Tim Deaux - doing a set that won't bear much resemblance to the one she did seven years ago.

"Last year when we started rehearsals, I had no idea how my songwriting from my 10 years with the Nocs would translate with this new band," she says. "I was eager to see if they would blend with the new music, and it was a really amazing creative process. As everyone came together, the songs flowed more effortlessly, and rocked WAY harder than anyone expected. I mean, the band is almost twice as big, but it doesn't feel at all top-heavy. There's just more focus on vocals and harmonizing, textures, dynamics . …

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