There are so many gems on this cd, it was difficult to pick tracks to highlight here. Even the songs that didn’t grab me right away grew on me with repeated listens. The album as a whole seems to be a grower, sounding richer with each listen. This is the kind of album that I would buy immediately after seeing the band at Mountain Stage. You know, if I had been paying attention when they played the venue last Spring. Mountain Stage = great music. Always.
Nothing But The Water opens with the excellent post-breakup blues tirade, “Toothbrush And My Table”. I posted the song before, but I’ll repost the mp3 link below just to keep them all in one place. It’s still hard to believe that it was emailed to me, it’s of a completely different class than the usual musical fare I receive that way.
“Some Kind of Ride” has kind of a “Freebird” feel to the music, at least toward the end. Though it seems to be another love gone wrong kind of song with lines like “I believe the lies till they hit me right between the eyes” and “you’re setting me up for the collide”.
“Ragged Company” is my second favourite track on the album. It’s a softer, more melancholy tune that most of the other songs on the album. The music echoes “Whiter Shade of Pale”, the lyrics are rustic poetry. But the real draw is Grace’s vocals. Her voice sways from a soft and melodic whisper to a soaring wail into that throaty tone that’s more prominent on other tracks. It’s a perfect driving alone at night, contemplating life kind of song.
“Sweet Hands” really kicks it all up a notch with a heavy dose of funked up rock mixed in with their blues. Meanwhile, “2:22” is a typical blues song. I mean that as a compliment. Grace’s voice is at its smokey best, and the guitar has that slinky beat that I usually associate with much older music than this.
“All But One” is another favourite track. Grace’s languid vocals sound almost like Cat Power at times. This is probably as close to a ballad as the album gets, with a “Heart of Saturday Night” kind of melody.
The first part of the title track, “Nothing But The Water (I)”, features a goosebumping acapella performance in the style of an old spiritual, with a tint of traditional blues. More than any other song, “Nothing But The Water (I)” gives credence to the Eva Cassidy comparison. There are very few modern singers that could stand on their vocal talent alone. Grace is one of them. Her voice is simply amazing on this song. Mp3s below.
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – Toothbrush & My Table (mp3)
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – Nothing but the Water (mp3)