Grace Potter and the Nocturnals is set to play a free outdoor show at Howel­sen Hill on July 14 as a part of the Free Summer Concert Series, officials announced Thursday. Freddy Jones Band will play July 22 and Hot Tuna kicks off the series July 1.

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Grace Potter and the Nocturnals is set to play a free outdoor show at Howel­sen Hill on July 14 as a part of the Free Summer Concert Series, officials announced Thursday. Freddy Jones Band will play July 22 and Hot Tuna kicks off the series July 1.

Free Summer Concert Series announces 2 bands

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Freddy Jones Band to play free shows

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Grace Potter

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"Contender" by Freddy Jones Band

Series lineup*

July 1: Hot Tuna

July 14: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

July 22: Freddy Jones Band

*Two more shows are to be announced.

— The latest addition to the Steamboat Springs Free Summer Concert Series’ 2011 lineup was announced Thursday. Vermont-born blues rock singer Grace Potter and her band, the Nocturnals, will play the second concert in the series on July 14.

“This is going to be kind of our 20th anniversary celebration,” Concert Series board vice president Scott Fox said. “It’s going to be our theme show. We’re super happy about getting (Potter). We were lucky.”

Fox also announced Thursday that the Freddy Jones Band, this summer’s only returning act, will play July 22.

Hot Tuna kicks off the Free Summer Concert Series on July 1. All of the announced concerts will take place at the base of Howelsen Hill.

Rising from a homegrown Vermont band to national TV appearances, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals just released their self-titled third studio album, with a new five-piece lineup and a more diverse sound.

Potter, 28, leads the band with her wailing vocals that have the soul of Bonnie Raitt and the grit of Janis Joplin. She also plays keyboard, backed by Matt Burr on drums, Scott Tournet on lead guitar, Catherine Popper on bass and Benny Yurco on guitar.

The band is a fixture on Jam Cruise and has played on stages such as the Telluride Blues & Brews and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Freddy Jones Band is the only returning act this summer but will get to redeem its live show after being partially rained out during the 2009 Free Summer Concert Series season.

In the vein of the Allman Brothers Band and the Eagles, Freddy Jones Band combines a roots rock tradition with smooth Americana melodies ripe with harmonic blending.

There are two shows yet to be booked in the series, and Fox anticipates one of those shows to fall during the final weekend in August when the USA Pro Cycling Challenge will be riding through town.

“We kind of agreed to put a show on for those guys, and that’s going to be really cool,” Fox said. “There are going to be a lot of people in town.”

He said the other show will be sometime in early August, but no acts have been booked for those final two dates.

Historically the lineups haven’t been set until mid-May.

“We’re ahead of schedule; we’re in great shape,” Fox said.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com

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