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Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009

The Wallflowers w/ Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Tonight @ Wisconsin State Fair Main Stage, 7:30 p.m.

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Sometimes a familiar last name can get in the way, but Grammy winners The Wallflowers hit its own stride despite leader Jakob Dylan’s famous father. Still, there are definitely familiar overtones to some of the Los Angeles’ bands songs, combining a certain lyricism with more contemporary and definitive rhythms, which should appeal to fans old and new.

The Wallflowers in its many manifestations has played with a variety of like-minded musicians, including Elvis Costello and Carole King, and toured with Tom Petty, John Mellencamp. Eric Clapton and Willie Nelson. Dylan counts as his influences not folk icons, but Bruce Springsteen, The Band, The Replacements and The Clash, whose seminal London Calling has been cited as the most influential album in the guitarist’s life.

Dylan, with bassist Greg Richling and drummer Fred Eltringham, The Wallflowers iteration appearing at the Wisconsin State Fair, have found their niche as a trio. The group’s recently released greatest hits album, Collected: 1996-2005, further supports their hybrid of sound of roots rockers seasoned with soulful introspection. It’s an interesting combination, one that gives The Wallflowers its unique musical persona.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals open for The Wallflowers’ headlining show tonight. The Vermont quintet creates a funky blend of blues, soul and rock from the 1960s, a distinct counterpoint that somehow remains complementary to Dylan and Co.

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