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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. getting busy again

For Journal Register Newspapers

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The members of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. are hesitant to call their concert on Record Store Day weekend a tradition, even as they prepare to play at the Majestic Theatre for the second year in a row.

"I think it kind of randomly happened this way," says the Detroit duo's Josh Epstein. "But not that it's happened two years in a row, maybe it is a tradition. We'll see what happens next year."

But if last year's show represented a bit of a victory lap for the group's first album, "It's a Corporate World," this year's finds DEJJ -- Epstein and fellow multi-instrumentalist Daniel Zott -- at the start of a new campaign.

The group's new four-song EP, "Patterns," is out digitally and will be released on vinyl Saturday, April 20, for Record Store Day. Meanwhile, DEJJ has finished work on its second album, "The Speed of Things," which is due out this summer. Epstein and Zott, who recorded in both their basement studio in Ferndale and at producer Ben West's facility in Ortonville, feel confident will show growth beyond what they accomplished on "It's a Corporate World."

"I think Daniel and I were able to treat this record as an art project rather than a collection of moments of inspiration," Epstein, 30, explains. "What's exciting to us now is we're able to be constantly working because we can kind of come up with an idea for something we want to try and we can go for it, and if it doesn't work it doesn't work.

"But more often than not we're able to hone our ideas in and make them work. That's a real advantage to having two songwriters and two lead singers in the band. I think that this record really let us play to our strengths and grow those strengths. We're still just scratching the surface, which is really exciting."

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Stepdad and Tunde Olaniran perform Saturday, April 20, at the Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call 313-833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com. For more information on Record Store Day, including exclusive releases and special activities at metro area stores, visit www.recordstoreday.com.

Web Site: www.majesticdetroit.com

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