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Harried Potter 

Rootsy singer confronts personal, political anxiety.

On last year’s Nothing but the Water, bluesy Vermont roots-rockers Grace Potter and the Nocturnals busted out of the jam-band scene with a set of songs that showed off the band’s instrumental chops without boring listeners with wayward noodling. Their new album, This Is Somewhere, is an even more assured statement of independence. “The stories I was telling before were not my stories,” says Potter. “I wanted to let the music breathe this time around. It’s a lot more autobiographical and emotional.”

This Is Somewhere grabs as much from ’70s-defined artists like Bonnie Raitt as from more contemporary sources (does Sheryl Crow count?). “When we started, we wanted to sound like our favorite bands,” says Potter. “Now we have our own sound, and nobody else can have it.” The 24-year-old singer and songwriter has a sharper sense of what makes a good pop tune these days. She’s also more pissed off. “I stayed away from political music for a long time, because it’s really obnoxious,” she says. “I didn’t want the music to suffer. But the state of the nation is so unavoidably in a dump right now. It’s our reality. It’s pretty hard not to write political songs.”
Thu., Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m., 2007

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