Rock singer Grace Potter talks growth, heartbreak and evolution before her return to Jannus Live

The show is Thursday, January 9.

click to enlarge Rock singer Grace Potter talks growth, heartbreak and evolution before her return to Jannus Live

Soulful rock singer Grace Potter has played Jannus Live many times before as frontwoman of the rock band Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, but on January 9 she’s returning to the infamous downtown St. Petersburg venue a completely changed artist.

In the seven years since she last toured, she’s endured the breakup of her band, a divorce, her first child, and a new marriage—ups and downs that her latest album Daylight, which was released in October, explores in cathartic detail. Potter has seen the highest highs, like in 2010 when her song "Something That I Want" went viral after appearing on the Tangled soundtrack, as well as the lowest lows, like in 2016 when her marriage with ex-bandmate Matthew Burr ended. 


Grace Potter. 

Thurs. Jan., 9. 7:30 p.m. $28.50. 

Jannus Live, 16 2nd St. N. St. Petersburg, FL.

CL recently talked to Potter across the Atlantic Ocean about her transformative past couple of years, not only as an artist—but as a person. 

“I just got back to my hotel room in London after finishing up a cool rehearsal with Kermit the Frog at the Royal Albert Hall Orchestra,” Potter laughs, in somewhat disbelief of the sentence she just uttered. Although she’s piggybacking off of the positive energy of rehearsal, she quickly jumps right into a reflection of the gritty past that preceded her recent comeback to music. 

The earliest stages of her most recent solo album Daylight, were mere journal entries, poems, half-formed songs, meditations, prayers, and repetitive phrases that only made sense to her. “It was a way for me to deal with a tectonic shift both in my life and in my soul,” Potter reminisces. 

On the surface, Daylight grapples with the relatable themes of heartbreak and pain, but buried deep in the 11 track LP is a journey of pure renewal. Potter emerges from her hardships with a new, loving marriage and her first child. In the words of Potter herself, “It’s the first album where I’m firmly planted in my shoes.” 

It was slowly written over the course of her three-year-long hiatus, which was filled with years of painting houses, learning how to be a mother, and dealing with her broken relationship with music. 

When asked by CL if she missed the life of a musician during her time off, she quickly replied “Fuck no!” before retracting a bit and rethinking the question. “But actually, I really missed talking to strangers,” Potter said. “I’ve always felt like it was my base level connection to the world. I’ve always loved the feeling of being connected with everyone through music.” 

That connection will nonetheless be felt in the air of Potter’s Jannus Live performance on January 9—a show that she is particularly excited for. 

“I've definitely had good experiences there in the past” Potter says about Jannus Live. “It’s kind of fortuitous timing, because a lot of my friends and family are going to be down there in Florida for that show—it's going to be a weird Florida version of a hometown show.” 

Whether she missed it or not, Potter is back living the life of a touring musician. But this time, she has her family experiencing it with her. Her husband and producer Eric Valentine and son Sagan will join her on the entirety of this U.S. tour, which spans from coast to coast. 

When one thinks of the phrase “coming of age,” they usually think of a teenage movie or an adolescent shit-show of confusion. But what Grace Potter has experienced over the last couple of years is an all-encompassing, re-defining coming of age at 36 years old. Perhaps she glazed over her transformative years of early adulthood since she’s been a touring musician since 19 years old, but Potter is back being the gritty, soulful singer that fans worldwide know her to be. And now she has the life experience to bring her musical reputation to life. 

“The joy I’ve always gotten from this life comes from losing myself in the music, transcending my ego and my place in the world— I like to just feel the world.” 

Potter invites you to be part of her brand new world at Jannus Live next Thursday.

Follow @cl_music on Twitter to get the most up-to-date music news, concert announcements and local tunes. Subscribe to our newsletter, too. 

About The Author

Kyla Fields

Kyla Fields is the Managing Editor of Creative Loafing Tampa Bay who started their journey at CL as summer 2019 intern. They are the proud owner of a charming, sausage-shaped, four-year-old rescue mutt named Piña.
Scroll to read more Show Previews articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]