Grace Potter of Grace Potter & The Nocturnals really does have the medicine that everyone wants; and this devastatingly good outtake of “Medicine” from their VH1 Storytellers session that aired tonight (PS: If you missed it, you can watch it online right now!) is everything that’s got us spinning. Over classic rock drum rolls and a come-hither guitar hook, Potter first weaves an alternative world wherein a gypsy woman with dark brown eyes and long black hair has put a spell on her man. “She’s crossing me with magnetic sand / She hypnotizes with her mojo hand,” she wails. Then, two-thirds of the way through, voice hushed, she shares her plan to take the other woman down “deep in the night, when no one’s around” and off we go!
The whole band comes together at the drums for an epic precision-jam break-down, from which Potter returns even more powerful than before. “I’ve got the medicine,” she shrieks as the song returns, even bigger and badder than before. How, really, could anyone compete with a vocalist and performer as riveting as Potter?
It’s eight-minutes long, but really, not long enough. And so it’s good that there is more where that came from.
Speaking on the sexy “Paris (Ooh La La),” Potter explains that: “For a long time … I was in jeans and cowboy boots and I stood that line and I held that line and I wanted to be taken seriously. I wanted to be a real songwriter. But I think it’s an important point that sexuality in music doesn’t have to be this polarizing thing where you’re either the girl in the bathing suit with the S&M gear on, with a lot of eye make-up and fake hair. Or, you’re in a real rock and roll band and there’s no line in between. I think there’s a beautiful line in between.” It’s this “between” that embraces in the last act of “Medicine” to win back her man, and it’s this “between” that makes Grace Potter & The Nocturnals and their sultry sort of bluesy-rock so stand-out and soul penetrating.
Ahead of “The Lion the Beast the Beat,” the song which Potter calls the “spinal chord” to the album it titles, Potter touches on the way she works. “It has to come from the inside out,” she says, adding, though, that, “I don’t like to be dainty with music.” Instead, she says, “I wanted those blood red letters scrawled out for me,” because dainty her insides — thankfully! — are not. For the Casio and Mellotron and — like Potter jokes — the “Cheez Whiz,” “Never Go Back” has still got a chilly kick. And on “Stars,” a song Potter dedicates to an idol who she recalls through tears as someone who also took things too far, she sings, “I lit a fire with the love you left behind, and it burned wild and crept up the mountainside.” She’s got the vocal range to cover all the emotions.
You can watch the whole show below, right now. You’ll want not to miss this.