Photo by James Minchin
Here's a show that really crept up on me - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals and Ezra Furman & The Harpoons, at Club Congress Tuesday.
With both bands traveling a good long way to get here (Potter from Vermont and Furman from Chicago) and both relatively new - and on huge upswings - I'd bet this is the first show in Tucson for either one.
I'd heard a lot of good things about Grace Potter surrounding the Outside Lands Festival, but I opted for Broken Social Scene while she was on another stage.
Potter's sound is great - at times like The Band, or the Stones at their most Americana, or like a Bonnie Raitt-fronted Black Crowes, belting out a rock sound that's full of soul and blues.
Potter's latest, This Is Somewhere (2007, Hollywood Records), got loads of great reviews. NPR called the record "Equal parts Tom Petty and Wilco," which is a compliment of the highest order in my mind.
I first heard about Furman roughly this time last year, on Andy Whitman's blog. This barely-20-year-old was flying completely under the radar, but made one of the best records of 2007, with a raucous folk sound, part Dylan and part Mountain Goats & Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
Furman's Banging Down the Doors was a hard-charging record that grew better the more I listened to it. And from the first tracks I've heard, this year's Inside the Human Body is a more rockin' follow-up.
Furman is bursting with talent and his songs are as catchy as Potter's are soulful. Though I wouldn't necessarily expect the two bands to show up on the same bill, this ought to be a great show.
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - Big White Gate (live)
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - Apologies (live)
Get the whole Feb. 21, 2008 NYC show here.
Ezra Furman & The Harpoons - We Should Fight