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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dead Confederate

Tonight @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, Summerfest, 6 p.m.

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Though Dead Confederate’s ghostly, implied twang and unhurried storytelling nods to the Southern songwriting tradition, the Athens, Ga., band’s dominate influences aren’t remotely Southern. Instead, the band looks toward the North, mining ’90s rainy-day alt rock, with a particular emphasis on Seattle grunge and Nirvana—singer Hardy Morris can at times sound like a dead ringer for Kurt Cobain. While post-grunge bottom-feeders like Puddle of Mudd and Nickleback have misunderstood what made Nirvana such a powerful band, Dead Confederate gets it right, capturing the same wild, emotional spark that made Cobain connect with so many people, not just head-banging meatheads.