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Journey home finds Dulli at Southgate

The Cincinnati Post

For the second time this year Cincinnati-area native Greg Dulli comes to town with his Twilight Singers, playing Friday at the Southgate House, Newport.

It’s surprising the former Afghan Whigs frontman can find the time for the hometown fans, practically in the middle of what will end up being a world tour and his numerous recording projects. But as the Ross, Ohio, native puts it, “I got to see my mama. She wouldn’t forgive me.”

Dulli has been on road nonstop this year. He’s played 115 dates so far.

Dulli, now getting the tag in some music media as an “alt-rock pioneer” for his work with the Afghan Whigs in the ’90s, continues to garner critical praise for his Twilight Singers CDs, featuring a similar brooding, mysterious style, if a little more orchestral and melodic.

Dulli was actually back in Cincinnati briefly in late September for a session with his former Whigs mates John Curly and Rick McCollum before they headed to Memphis to record two new Afghan Whigs tunes that will be featured on a compilation release next year from Rhino Records.

“It’s a Whigs retrospective. You can’t call it a greatest hits on account of we didn’t have any,” Dulli said.

The session prompted rumors of a Whigs reunion.

“It was a get-together. There will be no reunion,” Dulli said firmly. “That we all stayed friendly enabled that to happen. It was like some guys getting together and jamming on the back porch. No pressure. Just a nice time without any expectations and that’s why it went so successful.”

Out with Dulli on this Twilight leg is Mark Lanegan, the former frontman for Screaming Trees. The two plan to record a new album as The Gutter Twins early next year.

“For me it’s an interesting kind of cabaret working with Mark. It hearkens back to my original plan for the Twilight Singers, which was to have different singers perform on the record and live. He’s one of the favorite singers and it’s fun to just kick back and play rhythm guitar and sing harmony.”

This month Dulli releases “A Stitch in Time,” a five-track Twilight Singers EP featuring Langegan, as well as a reunion with McCollum. On one track McCollum contributes some searing melodic guitar work, hearkening to the Whigs’ best brooding and intense days. Earlier this year Dulli released a full-length Twilight Singers CD, “Powder Burns.”

Dulli has a full schedule in the coming months. He plans to record in January with Lanegan and tour Australia and Japan.

He calls himself “bicoastal,” living in Los Angeles, where he owns two bars, and New Orleans. “It’s just that my other coast is the Gulf one,” he says.

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