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VISITING ACT: Jakob Dylan

In a New Light: Jakob Dylan is 'seeing things' on his first solo tour

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"Something Good This Way Comes" from the album Seeing Things
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As a Wallflower, Jakob Dylan distanced himself from the constant comparisons to his father, Bob Dylan. He has his own separate identity.

In the mid-'90s, when Dylan's band The Wallflowers released Bringing Down the Horse — the album that launched a ton of singles including "One Headlight," "6th Avenue Heartache," and "The Difference" — the guys leaped out from the over-populated alternative rock crowd and established themselves as credible and talented musicians. The energy and melody that The Wallflowers captured was a breath of fresh air at that time.

But after 18 years of leading the Wallflowers through five rock 'n' roll albums, Dylan is taking steps back toward his father by going the solo route. At 38 years old, Dylan released his debut solo album Seeing Things (the disc hit stores last week). The connection between father and son came rushing back. Instead of pulling a Butch Walker and building on his rock foundation to create an arena rock album, he took the path of Hot Water Music's Chuck Ragan and Lucero's Ben Nichols and went with a mellow, acoustic vibe.

Plain and simple, Seeing Things is a folk album, which makes it an even braver move for a man who spent so much time trying to step out of the shadow of his father. The opener, "Evil Is Alive and Well," is a smooth introduction to the remaining nine tracks and gives a good indication of things to come. The album stays at the same toned-down energy level throughout.

If the songs were performed by another artist, the effort would likely fall by the wayside as just a generic folk album. But Dylan's unique voice adds a magic to them that is captivating and soothing. Unfortunately, for those who came to know and love Dylan through The Wallflowers, this solo effort just might leave them wishing he would plug in his guitar and bring his old energy back.

Jakob Dylan performs at the Music Farm (32 Ann St., (843) 577-6969) on Tues. June 17. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 ($17.50 adv). Check out www.jakobdylan.com and www.musicfarm.com for more.

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