Grace Potter

Wednesday, July 31
Doors | 7pm // Show | 8pm
Back in summer 2021, Grace Potter took off on a solo cross-country road trip that would soon bring a life-saving reconnection with her most unbridled self. Heading out on Route 66 from her home in Topanga Canyon, the Vermont-born artist spent the coming weeks crashing in roadside motels and taking time each night to deliriously transcribe the song ideas she’d dreamed up behind the wheel, often scrawling those notes onto the backs of postcards and motel notepads. After completing two more trips across the U.S. on her own—and partly navigating her way with the help of hand-drawn maps from self-styled historians of Route 66—Potter flew to Nashville for a series of recording sessions that quickly gave way to her most magnificently unfettered collection of songs to date. Equal parts fearlessly raw memoir and carnivalesque fable, the result is a body of work that goes far beyond the typical album experience to deliver something much more all-enveloping: the original motion picture soundtrack to a profoundly transformative moment in Potter’s life, a fantastically twisted odyssey populated by the hitchhikers and outlaws and other lifelong wanderers who roam through the wonderland of her psyche.
 
 
As she reveals, that explosion of creative energy followed a period of emotional crisis for Potter, a turn of events partly triggered by moving back to her hometown with her husband and young son a year into the pandemic. “There was a big piece of my heart that wasn’t ready to go back to Vermont—it all happened about 10 years earlier than I’d expected,” she says. “California had always felt like a new beginning, a place where I was able to step into a community of like-minded weirdos, and through that first winter I started to feel trapped.” After suffering a miscarriage (a particularly brutal medical experience compounded by the fact that she’d unknowingly been carrying twins), Potter began treatment for clinical depression and soon decided to seek the solace and release she’dalways found on the road. “I used the rental-car shortage as an excuse to go get our car in Topanga, but the truth is I was going to probably have a full mental breakdown if I didn’t step away from the pressure cooker of judgment, I’d placed on myself and my environment,” she says. “At first, Ithought of what I was doing as escapism, and I felt ashamed of that. But eventually I realized I was giving myself permission to do what needed to be done for me to get better.
 
 
Even in Mother Road’s most outrageous moments, Potter infuses her songwriting with essential insight into the endless nuances of life and love and belonging. True to the cinematic nature of Mother Road’s storytelling, she’s also immersed herself in creating the album’s elaborate visual components, an undertaking that’s involved expanding her talents as a filmmaker and multimedia artist. “I know now that there’s more depth to my expression, and I feel ready to bring everything into focus under a much larger circus tent than I have in the past,” she notes. And after thousands of miles on the road, countless nights at seedy motels, and a heartrending return home, Potter has made her way to the kind of creative freedom that leaves both artist and audience indelibly altered—a freedom that’s undeniably led to her masterpiece.
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