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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. gets live show in gear while waiting for album release

@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

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With an EP out since April ("Patterns") and its second album, "The Speed of Things," done since then but not due until Oct. 8, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. has had plenty of time to work on its live show.

And the Detroit duo promises that those attending this weekend's Mo Pop Festival will notice the effort.

"It's really been intense," says Josh Epstein, who co-founded DEJJ in 2010 with Daniel Zott. "We've added a new member (keyboardist Jon Visger) and have been in a few months of rehearsal, re-learning old stuff and changing over the way we do everything. We want to make steps forward in every way."

Zott seconds that "We're trying to top everything we've done before, not just sound better as a band. There's a lot of production stuff we're hoping we can pull off and do...something people talk about. We're really excited about it. For people who have already seen us, it's not the same Jr. Jr. It'll be revamped. So we're getting itchy to get out it out there."

DEJJ has also been focusing on creating videos for its new music, with the cheeky, dry-humored "If You Didn't See Me (Then You Weren't on the Dancefloor)" already out. The group will hit the road in earnest on Sept. 26 for a tour with Australia's Atlas Genius, and while the October release date seems a long way off, Epstein says he and Zott are looking forward to showing fans what they've been up to since 2011's "It's a Corporate World."

"It's a really exciting time for us," he notes. "We feel like we've really hit our stride and are both coming into our own as creators. We're not the kind of guys who want to just be on a treadmill, you know?"

The Mo Pop Festival, featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Andrew Bird, Old Crow Medicine Show, Manchester Orchestra, Jamaican Queens and more, takes place Saturday, Aug. 17, at Freedom Hill Amphitheatre and Park, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights. Gates open at 10 a.m. Call 568-268-9700 or visit ww.freedomhill.net.

Web Site: www.freedomhill.net

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