Monday, August 16, 2010

An evening of epic and artful rock with My Morning Jacket, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals at Mountain Park in Holyoke, Wed. 8/25

My Morning Jacket’s majestic performance at this year’s Jazzfest in New Orleans backed by the historic Preservation Hall Jazz Band (capping a nine date tour together) further demonstrated the Kentucky band’s knack for stylistic adventure and transformation. In a career more or less split between vintage Americana and futuristic experimentation, playing with the Jazz Band is about as deep into the past as My Morning Jacket have gone. Not that they’ve abandoned the guitar frenzy so beloved by their fans. They unleash more fire power than any band of their generation and the multi-faceted voice of Jim James has grown stronger and more fluid than ever, able to convey intimacy or howl at the rafters, or in this case over the trees and into the evening sky at Mountain Park in what promises to be one of the most satisfying shows of the summer. The band’s most recent album, Evil Urges, came out in 2008 and while a new album in 2010 is rumored, there’s always the possibility of at least hearing a new song.

Vermont’s most exciting rock and roll exports, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals (above, click for high res), find a sweet spot between a rowdy, blues-driven live sound and tight, classic-rock song-craft. They are without a doubt one of the very best American touring acts today. Grace comes across on stage as a woman possessed — Lucinda Williams fronting the Black Crowes, or Janis Joplin if she’d cut a few albums with The Band. The proof is there for all to hear on the band’s third album for Hollywood Records, an artistic breakthrough for a vital young band caught in the act of fulfilling its immense promise. Little wonder that Grace and her cohorts have chosen to title it, directly and emphatically, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

Gates at 5:30. Show at 7PM. General admission tickets are $36 at Northampton Box Office, 413-586-8686, and online at

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Womanshelter/Companeras, an organization founded in 1980 dedicated to assisting, supporting, and empowering those whose lives are affected by battering and abuse.

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