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Greg Dulli salutes New Orleans on ‘Powder Burns’

Monsters and Critics – By John Benson

CLEVELAND _ Returning to his home in a post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, Greg Dulli soldiered on last fall to finish recording a new Twilight Singers album, ‘Powder Burns.’ As previously reported, the set is due May 16 via One Little Indian.

The former Afghan Whigs frontman says ‘Powder Burns’ is an album based around his own personal struggles with addiction combined with the external conditions of the Big Easy.

‘There is probably a conscious and subconscious influence based on just what I saw and the way we all had to live down there after all of that happened,’ he tells ‘Recording under a martial law curfew situation is probably not the ideal circumstance but I do have a deep abiding love of New Orleans and a loyalty to that city, which has given me so much. What that city needed more than anything was life; people living in it. And that was a small gesture on my part to a place that has given me so much.’

Recorded over a two-year period, during which Dulli released the 2004 Twilight Singers covers album ‘She Loves You,’ the new album features singer/songwriters Joseph Arthur and Ani DiFranco on three tracks each. Dulli says one of the DiFranco songs, ‘Bonnie Brae,’ epitomizes his intentions with ‘Powder Burns.’

‘I`ll tell you, I love the wall-of-sound,’ he says. ‘I really do. I love layering and I love the discovery of new parts to go with other parts. That song in particular sonically came alive when I added the mellotron to it. And then when Ani did her harmony vocals at the end, it sonically blows my mind. So, that song in particular, it`s one of my favorites I`ve done in the last couple of years’

Dulli is so pleased with ‘Powder Burns’ that he says at some point during the band`s upcoming tour, which is slated to begin in late May and will run through the fall, every album track will get stage time. The artist is also mulling which, if any, songs from the Afghan Whigs` catalog to perform.

‘I have not decided what to do there,’ he admits. ‘My honest answer is if I`m feeling it, I`ll do it. I will not do it out of any sense of obligation.’

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