Scott Tournet is the guitarist for Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, as well as a solo artist, and record producer. Biography This self-produced solo album from the lead guitarist in Grace Potter & the Nocturnals is not what you might expect. VER LA LUZ (May 14, 2013) is not Scott Tournet's "guitar record," nor does it remotely resemble any of GPN's LPs. To this listener, Tournet's music as evidenced by this surprising record more closely resembles that of Wilco at it's most soulful and like-embracing. The sound is unpretentiously sophisticated, a seamless fusion of the homespun and the experimental; the songs are earthy, heartfelt; and Tournet's vocals have that aching vulnerability and natural humanity we've come to associate with Jeff Tweedy. But at the same time, there's something here that belongs to Tournet alone. These 11 songs of struggle, abiding hope and hard-earned acceptance-each resolving into a memorable chorus resolution-chart an internal world that is deeply personal yet universally relatable. To create this world, Tournet called on some skilled and simpatico fellow artists: Mike Kamoo (The Stereotypes, The Loons, Lights On), who engineered and mixed the album at his Earthling Studios in San Diego; drummer Austin Beede (formerly of Alberta Cross); fellow Vermont natives Lowell Thompson and Kelly Ravin, who blended their voices with Tournet's for some soaring harmonies; and Grace Potter, who co-wrote "Treasure" and "The Longing," dueting with her longtime bandmate on the latter. Apart from the drums, Scott played all the instruments except for Ravin's acoustic on "The Longing." He and Kamoo started tracking in the spring of 2012, calling on Beede to handle the drum parts after Scott realized his own drumming wasn't up to the level the music required. "That's really when the process opened up," Scott recalls. "I would play guitar, bass or keyboards along with Austin on drums, and we would record what we did to tape. We did eight or nine songs that way, and then he headed home to Santa Barbara. Over the next couple weeks, Mike and I tackled a song a day and I overdubbed all the other necessary instruments/sounds as we saw fit. Once we got the music where we wanted it, Lowell and Kelly flew in from Vermont and laid down harmony vocals. Kelly and I also tracked 'The Longing' on acoustics." There was still work to be done, including Tournet's lead vocals, when he rejoined GPN, who were booked as the opening band on a stadium tour. Using a portable rig, Scott recorded in hotel rooms and on the bus. "We recorded Grace's vocal for 'The Longing' in a football stadium locker room," he recalls. Throughout the summer, Tournet engaged in a long-distance dialogue with and Kamoo back in his San Diego studio." I would send vocal tracks digitally to Mike and he would piece them together for me. It was amazing and cool in the way that technology was allowing us to work on album together while being in different parts of the country. I never could have completed the record otherwise." In it's flow-more like a tidal pull, really-VER LA LUZ moves along with a seeming effortlessness. But in truth, it didn't come quickly, nor did it come easily-far from it. "I made the record because I needed to make it," says Tournet with the same candor that characterizes the album. "The songs and the writing of the songs consumed me for weeks and months at a time. The idea for making the record happened in the fall of 2011. I had just moved to San Diego. I didn't really know anyone. I had a fair amount of half-finished songs or small ideas for songs-lots of music without words. I had recently gone through a prolific time when I was writing music very fluidly, but for some reason I could not for the life of me come up with anything to say on top of the music. "In September of 2011, I had a bit of a personal breakdown," he acknowledges. "Years of life on the road, a crumbling relationship and some issues with depression brought me too my knees. It was the most intense time I've been through in my life. I got broken down to the point where I had to
Lights Go Down
Not Too Late
Song for You
The Longing (Featuring Grace Potter)
Stand By You
Here in the Morning
Here All Night
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