Singer-songwriter Jakob Dylan plays free show in Vail tonight
VAIL CO, Colorado
He’s a bit of a mystery. With his cowboy-quiet demeanor and a deep, soothing voice, Jakob Dylan emanates intrigue.
But he’s not holding anything back with his latest news: The Wallflowers are reuniting – though they never technically broke up. It was just a hiatus, he clarified.
“Coming back together was always the plan. We just had other stuff we wanted to do for a little bit,” he said during a phone interview from his home in Los Angeles.
They’ll be going into the studio together next month to begin work on their first new album since 2005’s “Rebel, Sweetheart.”
But before he hops back into The Wallflowers world, Dylan, 41, is finishing up a midwest tour with musicians from the L.A. band Everest (Russ Pollard, Jason Soda, Eli Thomason).
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That’s with whom he’ll take the stage tonight at Solaris in Vail for his Snow Daze performance.
“It’s been great for me, taking the last few records that were done in such a stripped-down fashion and rethinking them to see how pliable they are,” Dylan said.
At those shows, such as one in Kansas City, Mo., last month, Dylan and Everest have played plenty of The Wallflowers’ songs, such as “6th Avenue Heartache,” “Sleepwalker,” “Three Marlenas” and “One Headlight,” which nabbed a Grammy award in 1998 for best rock song. That means it’s likely you’ll hear plenty of Wallflowers stuff tonight, along with some of Dylan’s solo acoustic stuff, such as his “Nothing But The Whole Wide World” song from his rootsy 2010 album “Women and Country” (produced by T Bone Burnett).
East Vail resident John Bukac has never heard Jakob Dylan play live, which is in part why he’s looking forward to tonight’s show, he said.
“I was probably in middle school when I first started listening to (The Wallflowers),” said Bukac, who is a Vail ski instructor. “It’s good music the whole family can listen to, and that’s the whole idea behind Snow Daze,” he said.
Having stepped away from being in a band for awhile, Dylan has a rediscovered appreciation for the chemistry that happens among bandmates.
“I think there’s nothing to replace being in bands,” he said. “They’re hard to put together when you get older. You can put musicians together, but having a core group of guys to always play with throughout the years is pretty important.
“And having a band that people are aware of and having a name is really unique, and we did a lot of great things for a lot of years and I’m proud of that, and we are all. That’s something to be protective of and appreciative of.”
Dylan’s been busy working on some songs The Wallflowers will record in January. So what can people expect?
“I couldn’t say much just yet,” he said. “Just that they’re leading me and they’re something different, and that’s all you can really hope for. You try not to rewrite the same song 20 years later. You can’t go in with too much strategy; you have to follow your nose and see what comes up, what comes out of the ground, and run with it. I just recently kind of grabbed ahold of what it could be, and I’m hanging on for the ride. I always enjoy that part of it – when the songs start coming.”
Dylan writes whole records, he said, more than individual songs.
“I’m not someone who keeps a journal and thinks everything I write is very interesting,” he said. “I know people who do that, of course, and there’s something to be said for that. It just doesn’t work for me.”
Instead, it’s the “bulk” process that works.
“The songs you write, the vocabulary you use, there’s a thread that runs through in a record. I sit anxious and don’t know how it arrives, but it always does.”
High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or email@example.com.