Grace Potter – “Mother Road”

Album Reviews | Sep 5th, 2023

Grace Potter - "Mother Road"
Image used with permissions for review purposes

Genre: Singer/Songwriter
Record Label: Fantasy Records
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Grace Potter is never one to let her previous work define her. Whether it’s her earlier solo work or her time leading Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, the pride of Vermont continues to grow and change her sound.

On “Mother Road,” the titular song falls along the alt-country spectrum and gets the album off to a rather fun start. “Truck Stop Angels” is a strange bit of recording caught somewhere between country and a lullaby—you’ll see. “Ready Set Go” is vintage Potter, and reminds my ear of some of the more hard-hitting tunes from her self-titled album alongside the Nocturnals from 2010. Potter belts a note for the hills singing “goooooooo!!!” about midway through the tune that doubtless will get fans on their feet when she performs it live this fall. (Check out tour dates here.) “Good Time” climbs back on the alt-country bandwagon, and features the rather awesome lyric: “I know what living’s all about; I breastfed a stranger once at an In-N-Out.” Hilarious!

“Little Hitchhiker” is a tale of a wandering soul out on the vast roads of America, with the chanteuse advising: “You’re going to find what you’re looking for someday.” We can all hope! Such yarns of the lost continue on “Lady Vagabond,” which blends outlaw country with the Spaghetti sounds of Ennio Morricone’s musical scores, with Potter’s lyrical passion inviting the listener along on a journey. Things get a little strange on “Rose Colored Rearview” and “All My Ghosts,” but “Futureland” and its upbeat tempo and disco-y vibe won me back. “Masterpiece” is the second part of a same-key whole as its immediate predecessor, and together this duo of songs is an intriguing way to close out the album.

Potter hasn’t released an album with the Nocturnals in some years now, but her solo output has been as equally exciting and rocking. (I was particularly fond of “Midnight” from 2015.) “Mother Road” is a spirited affair, and proof positive of this singular artist’s talent and versatility.

Notable Tracks: Ready Set Go, Good Time, Lady Vagabond, Little Hitchhiker,
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