Sat, Sep 17
Sun, Sep 18
Grace Potter's Grand Point North Festival
Guster, KALEO, Blind Pilot, Kat Wright & The Indomitable Soul Band, Smooth Antics, Blue Button, Billy Dean & The Honor Roll
Burlington, VT, 05401
Doors 3:00 PM / Show 3:15 PM
This event is all ages
Described by Spin as “one of the greatest living voices in rock today,” and by SF Weekly as “the whole package”, Grace Potter continues to impress both critics and audiences with her musical achievements and captivating live shows.
Heralded as one of today’s best live performers, Grace Potter has played every major music festival from Coachella and
Lollapalooza to Bonnaroo and Rock in Rio. She’s had the honor of sharing the stage with artists such as The Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, Robert Plant, the Allman Brothers, Neil Young, Mavis Staples, and The Roots to name just a
few. Most recently, she was given the honor of performing, along with Sheryl Crow, a tribute to the late Glenn Frey at the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. For an artist who has built a devoted fan base through her electrifying live show, Potter seems hell-bent on breaking out of the box when it comes to studio work. She refuses to be defined by a single genre. Over the last three years, she has seamlessly transitioned from collaborating with the Flaming Lips for a Tim
Burton film, to songwriting and producing for soundtracks and theme songs for film and TV, to multi-platinum, Grammy nominated country duets with her friend Kenny Chesney, to most recently joining The Rolling Stones on stage for an inspired rendition of “Gimme Shelter.”
In late 2015, at the invitation of The First Lady, Michelle Obama, and TV host Conan O’Brien, Grace performed for the troops in Qatar (where she was joined on stage by the guitar-playing O’Brien). In the fall of 2015, Grace was honored with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, her home state of Vermont’s highest honor in the creative sector. Earlier in 2015 Potter received the ASCAP Harry Chapin Vanguard Award by WhyHunger honoring her for her work with several charitable organizations. On August 14th, 2015, Grace released her critically acclaimed solo album, Midnight, to a #17 debut on the Billboard 200 chart.
Midnight was recorded and mixed at Barefoot Studios in Hollywood, CA, with producer Eric Valentine. The core studio band consisted of Potter and Valentine on most of the instruments, with Matt Burr on drums and percussion. Additional contributions came from guitarists Scott Tournet and Benny Yurco and bassist Michael Libramento, as well as former tourmates and friends singer-songwriter Rayland Baxter, Audra Mae, Noelle Skaggs of Fitz & the Tantrums, and Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age.
“This album is about embracing life as it comes at you – with all its unexpected twists and turns,” says Potter. “I’ve experienced a huge amount of growth and change in the past two years - both personal and professional, and it can be overwhelming for an artist to find ways to express that in a vacuum. So I tried to strip away the confines of other people’s
expectations. I started tapping into some of the deep-running themes that have shaped me into the human I’ve become, and as I went deeper and deeper, I found the results to be insanely satisfying.”
Citing Miles Davis, Dylan, the Beatles, Bowie, Blondie and Beck as prime examples, Potter says she is drawn to artists who make sonic leaps from record to record—a notion she has explored throughout her career.
Potter has released four other studio albums through major label Hollywood Records: 2006’s Nothing But The Water, 2007’s This is Somewhere , 2010’s self-titled album and 2012’s The Lion The Beast The Beat, with the latter two both debuting Top 20 in the U.S. In 2010, Potter was featured on Kenny Chesney’s Grammy nominated, platinum-selling hit, “You and Tequila,” and his 2015 hit, “Wild Child,” which also achieved #1 status on the (billboard) Country chart.
"I told Swift that our last two records took a year each to make," laughs Guster's Ryan Miller. "He told me he'd never spent more than nine days on an album." The band and producer got together anyway and the result is 'Evermotion,' an album of raw acid-soaked chamber pop, and a stylistic departure that no one saw coming.
Guster sought out Shins keyboardist/Black Keys bassist Richard Swift based on his work with Damien Jurado and Foxygen, giving themselves over to the full experience of recording at Swift's Cottage Grove, Oregon studio for three weeks in January 2014.
"It wasn't hard to figure out where we overlapped with Swift," adds percussionist/drummer Brian Rosenworcel. "It was just a matter of trusting ourselves to go big and commit. Richard is the type of artist that's always standing back and taking in the whole canvas."
With a new looseness and swagger, Guster pushes the acoustic guitars into the background, instead exploring deeper drum grooves, keyboard textures and atmospheric noise -- a language they shared easily with Swift. The band that emerged from this session sounds like one that is no longer evolving, but has evolved into something else entirely.
"Richard helped us figure out what was important about recording," says guitarist Adam Gardner. "We had just one microphone over the drum kit, used whole takes, didn't obsess over vocals or really edit things at all -- it's a raw version of our band, mistakes and all, that feels more relevant. He helped us tremendously with the big picture."
The first single from 'Evermotion,' the infectious "Simple Machine," has been hailed by TIME magazine for its "frantic beats and crawling synthesizers." The chiming lullaby of "Long Night" with its aching Ryan Miller falsetto, the shimmering "Endlessly," the distorted steel drums and Bacharach melody of "Doin' It by Myself," the a cappella Beach Boys harmonies in the gently breezy "Lazy Love," the dream-pop of "Expectation," the British Invasion beat of "Gangway," the woozy trombones and whistling of "Never Coming Down" and the Beatle-esque psychedelia of "It Is Just What It Is" shows Guster is still learning new tricks.
Since forming at Tufts University in 1992, Guster has become one of the leading indie/alternative bands, releasing seven critically acclaimed albums in 20 years, starting with 'Parachute' in 1995. 'Evermotion' (to be released on their own Ocho Mule label through Nettwerk Records) is the follow-up to 2010's 'Easy Wonderful,' which earned the band its highest-ever chart debut on the Billboard 200 at #22, while reaching #2 on both the SoundScan Alternative and iTunes charts.
On 'Evermotion,' Guster's acoustic roots are buried deep beneath the surface, almost impossible to detect, even though every song has, at its heart, an indelible melody and more than its share of tight, lethal hooks that catch and hold.
The 2010 addition of multi-instrumentalist Luke Reynolds to the core group of founding members Miller, Gardner and Rosenworcel, added immeasurably to Guster's expanding musical palette. 'Evermotion' marks the first time that Reynolds joined for the preproduction and writing process, which took place in Rosenworcel's Brooklyn basement over 2012 and 2013. Reynolds' stamp is clear and his passion is all over the record, from his guitar melodies on "Lazy Love" to his fuzz bass on "Doin' It By Myself."
Guster's songs remain packed with hummable choruses and dense lyrical detail amid the muscular guitar riffs, clanging percussion and deceptively dark lyrics. The new album features adventurous turns on slide guitars, brassy trumpets and even a glockenspiel, with sax and trombone accompaniment by Jon Natchez, whose stints with the War on Drugs, Beirut, Passion Pit and others have led NPR to call him "indie rock's most valuable sideman."
From the start of the album, it's clear that this is a renewed band with a bolstered purpose, a band on their own vector. 'Evermotion' introduces you to a Guster that is free, not calculated, seasoned but loose, confident in re-shaping their legacy.
Firmly a phenomenon in their home country of Iceland, the four-piece band Kaleo is set to descend upon foreign shores in 2015, bringing their gorgeous blend of folk, blues, country, and rock to a wider mainstream audience in America. Their isolated heritage inspires a unique take on familiar sonic elements, resulting in diversity and freedom on each and every breathtaking track.
Best friends since attending elementary school in the small town of Mosfellsbaer outside of Reykjavik, bandleader JJ Juliusson, drummer David Antonsson Crivello, and bassist Danny Jones began playing together at the age of 17. Honing their skills, they played countless shows around the nation's capital for a few years before adding guitarist Rubin Pollock to the mix in 2012. They named the band Kaleo, which means "the sound" in Hawaiian, and started their career in earnest with a handful of well-received shows at the 2012 Iceland Airwaves music festival.
They recorded their first pair of original songs in early 2013, the fiery "Rock N Roller" and laid-back, bluesy "Pour Sugar On Me," which earned Kaleo some radio airplay and press in Iceland. Then, that spring, their cover of the traditional Icelandic ballad "Vor í vaglaskógi" during a live radio show was videotaped and posted to YouTube, where it quickly went viral. The band recorded a studio version of the song in June, which went straight to Number One in virtually every radio station in the country. "It's a different kind of cover, more dramatic and the tempo is taken down," says JJ. The buzz for Kaleo had begun.
The band signed to Iceland's largest record label, Sena, in the fall of 2013 and recorded their full-length debut, Kaleo, in just six short weeks. Five singles would reach Number One and the album would go Gold, receiving high praise and sending the band to shows and festivals in Europe over the next year, including an appearance on the biggest stage in their home country, Culture Night, where they played to 100,000 people and reached 90 percent of Iceland's population in broadcast. Then, in the spring of 2014, Kaleo recorded the lush, introspective song "All the Pretty Girls" and in one night their destiny to outgrow their small, island nation was cemented.
"It's a very delicate song. It seemed to speak to a lot of people," says JJ. "From there everything started to happen. We got contacted from other places: managers, labels, publishers—they all went crazy over one night." Drawn to Kaleo's multi-layered dynamics, their ability to play different genres with equal skill, the vocals and mood reminiscent of everything from Bon Iver and Iron & Wine to Coldplay and David Gray, and wise-beyond-their-years songwriting, the world came calling.
Now, signed to Atlantic Records in the US, Kaleo has moved to Austin, Texas, and will begin recording new material with producer Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg) in London for an EP due this year. Get ready for the sound.
Seeing out the tour will be Portland's Blind Pilot, whose sophomore album, "WE ARE THE TIDE," followed the band's grassroots break-out 2008 debut, "3 Rounds and a Sound." The band is busy recording a new album, due out in 2016.
Kat Wright & The Indomitable Soul Band
Kat Wright & The Indomitable Soul Band are on a mission to fill you with music that aims right for the heart and moves your soul without overlooking your ass … and they won't be defeated in their quest.
It all starts with the voice of Kat Wright, which proves immediately enchanting to any listener. It's delicate yet powerful; gritty yet highly emotive; sultry and dynamic. It promises and delivers a connection with something outside of yourself. Her style shares a timeless quality with some of history's greatest singers (think young Bonnie Raitt meets Amy Windehouse), while remaining something authentic you haven't heard ever before. These days, as we cycle through scores of new groups looking for a little of that old school magic we're constantly confronted with watered down throwback acts and impersonators of genuine soul. Kat Wright's powerhouse vocals diagnose this modern day ailment and heal it on the spot.
The Indomitable Soul Band's roots draw heavily from all American music to forge a sound that is all their own. Blending Memphis soul and new school RnB with a level of improvisation that more than a few Vermont based bands have been known for, this 7 piece accompaniment is the perfect compliment to Kat's captivating, genuine vibe. Composed of a rock solid core and a powerful horn section, the ISB keeps you moving and lays it all on the line at every show.
Kat Wright & The Indomitable Soul Band have earned a reputation in Burlington, VT for packing every house they play and always sending people out feeling better than when they walked in. With their first EP in hand (Introducing...), their quest is breaking new ground and they're aiming right for you.
The foundation of it all starts with Mike and Jake holding down the tight, head noddin', Dilla style pocket. Then the musical geniuses Chris and Jacob, elevate the entire sound and feel by surrounding the pocket with smooth and tasty atmospheric tones. All of these efforts are directed toward illuminating one of the sexiest, soulful singers around, Stephanie Heaghney.
Our dynamic multi-sensory experience engages your soul, body and mind into a trance like state, allowing you to escape reality, forget about all your troubles worries, and have loads of fun.
It's kind of like Willy Wonka's tour through the chocolate factory... minus the scary boat ride that is.
Billy Dean & The Honor Roll
Billy Dean & The Honor Roll have been described as blend between The Roots, Rage Against The Machine and "blue note samples". The group is comprised of Billy Dean
Thomas, AKA "The Queer B.I.G", a Hiphop lyricist and musician from Harlem, who travels between Massachusetts, Atlanta and Burlington, Vermont. Billy challenges the hiphop game with polyrhythmic flows that comment on # blacklivesmatter, difficulties of growing up in NYC and intersectional feminism.
After being featured on NPR's Transom, Teambackpack and ABC's The View, Billy was desperately seeking a community of musicians to create and transform digitally produced ideas into live instrumentation . It all started when The Honor Roll Collective's bass player Josh Speers introduced Billy to two amazing musicians from New England named Derek Rice (Keys) and Jake Mayers (Drums). Within the first 5 hours of meeting each other in person the musical vibes were so in sync that the honor roll came up with a live set of Billy's tunes and performed a show that night!
Three months later they have already completed their Debut Tour throughout New England and released a Live in Studio Recording session that merges Hip Hop, jazz and a little bit of rock and roll for the ragers. They are currently embarking on their first Spring Tour where they will begin featuring new members of the collective. They have come out of the gate firing, are (h)on a roll and hope you'll join the movement!
Sunday Single Day Day Of Show Pass $64 |
The Higher Ground Box Office in South Burlington will be closed on SUNDAY 9/18/16. Tickets are available for purchase at the gates on the waterfront from 11AM on.
Children 12 and under are FREE! Glass, pets, outside alcohol, blankets, and coolers are all prohibited. All events are rain or shine. All dates, acts, and ticket prices subject to change without notice. Presented by 104.7 The Point.
VIP Passes include the following: early entry to the festival; VIP viewing area at the sound board, commemorative VIP laminate; festival poster signed by Grace Potter; and VIP tent with discounted beverages and light food provided.