Home Read Albums Of The Week: Grace Potter | Mother Road

Albums Of The Week: Grace Potter | Mother Road

Fasten your seat belt, dime the volume & let the rusty-piped singer-songwriter get your motor runnin’ with this energized collection of soulful rock, funky roots & more.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Grace Potter’s fifth studio LP Mother Road is an audacious and heart-pounding map of the soul that finds Grace deconstructing her deepest fears and darkest regrets, charting the fallout with brutal honesty and emotional daring. And fittingly, it all started with some time behind the wheel in the American heartland.

“In Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck called Route 66 the ‘The Mother of all roads… the road of flight,’ ” says Potter. “As I zeroed out my odometer and started west on my road trip across the U.S., I hoped that driving the road of flight would give me a bird’s eye view of my life. But it didn’t take long to realize that I was not flying; I was running away. In the solitude, I found myself smashing open the piggy bank of deeply buried memories. Those gems of my real-life exploits spilled into my creative consciousness and emboldened me to write an album that reaches far beyond what actually happened — launching me down the alternate-reality roads of what could have happened.”

Produced by Eric Valentine (Queens of the Stone Age, Nickel Creek) and recorded at RCA’s famed Studio A in Nashville and Topangadise in Topanga, Mother Road follows Grace’s 2019’s acclaimed Grammy-nominated album Daylight. Throughout the album’s 10 original tracks, Grace — along with contributions from a top-flight band including guitarist Nick Bockrath, bassist Tim Deaux, drummer Matt Musty, pedal steel guitarist Dan Kalisher and keyboardist Benmont Tench — commands an expansive soundscape of soulful rock, roots, funk, country and R&B.

Mother Road’s myriad landmarks include the searing Ready Set Go, which ricochets with stinging slide guitar and attitude to burn; Lady Vagabond, a paean to anti-heroines everywhere; the self-deceptive Rose Colored Rearview; the spirit-purifying All My Ghosts; and the album’s wild, theatrical finale, Masterpiece. At the center is Little Hitchhiker, a beautifully detailed story-song co-written by superstar songwriter Natalie Hemby, which poignantly re-imagines the time nine-year-old Potter ran away from home, a profound experience that sparked much of Mother Road’s narrative.”