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Twilight Singers Squeeze ‘Blackberry’

Nearly two-and-a-half years into his post-Afghan Whigs career, singer/songwriter Greg Dulli tells that working under the moniker of the Twilight Singers offers the perfect blend of freedom within a band mindset. The act will release its second album, “Blackberry Belle,” Oct. 14 via Birdman/One Little Indian.

“I always liked the plan that Anton Fier had for the Golden Palominos, where he just had a revolving cast of players to play the songs he wanted,” Dulli says. “The only difference is he is a drummer, and I’m a singer and I’m a songwriter. And I can, by writing songs, bring in whomever I want. There are 24 other people on this new record besides me, so I definitely went out and did some flesh shopping.”

About two years ago, Dulli started working on the follow-up to Twilight Singers’ 2000 Columbia debut “Twilight as Played by the Twilight Singers,” which fell somewhere between trip-hop and alternative rock. Whereas the first album was heavily influenced by British remix outfit Fila Brazillia, further recordings with the team failed to excite Dulli, who then recorded with various musicians in Los Angeles.

The result was “much more rock’n’roll oriented,” yet again left Dulli uninspired. Finally, after rewriting much of the album, the Ohio native was content with the 11 tracks on the new disc, which includes guest spots from Jesse Tobias, Mathias Schneeberger, Jon Skibic, Scott Ford, Apollonia Kotero and Mark Lanegan.

“It is pretty diverse,” says Dulli. “There is some rock on there. The album begins with a waltz and ends with a waltz. And in between, it is f**kin’ ‘Revolver’.”

Unlike the Twilight Singers’ initial release, which was supported with only a dozen or so live dates, Dulli plans on supporting the new disc with multiple Stateside and European concert legs, the first of which is slated for October.

“I’m working on the third [Twilight Singers album] right now,” says Dulli. “This [new] one doesn’t come out until October, so I’m not sitting around until that record comes out. I’m already six deep into the next Twilight record, which will appear a lot quicker than this one did. And I don’t think 2004 is out of the question, honestly. I think it is probably likely.”

“Blackberry Belle” will be teased with the three-song “Black Is the Color” EP, which will be sold at shows and on Birdman’s official Web site. It will be available in stores at the beginning of next month.

— John Benson, Cleveland

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