EDWARDS CO - Singer-songwriter Reid Genauer dissects a good song
for its recipe the same we does a delicious meal.
"You have all these little levers to pull as a songwriter and a performer
in varying degrees and in different combinations. It's all the same ingredients, but different
amounts of ingredient in each writer's recipe," said Genauer, who first gathered notoriety while
playing and writing songs for Strangefolk, one of the early pioneers of the jam band scene.
What makes musicians like the Beatles, Paul Simon, Neil Young and Willie Nelson such profound
songwriters is their lyricism, says Genauer. The way they turn a phrase in an unusual way or approach
a thought from around the backside instead of straight on.
"There's also that unquantifiable element of soul. And those performers all have it," he added.
Adam Terrell, guitarist and vocalist, will join Genauer as Assembly of Dirt,
an acoustic duo that has temporarily branched off from their regular band, Assembly of Dust,
for a small tour. They play tonight at Frites in Edwards at 9:30.
As a duo, Acoustic Dirt's sound is more funk folksy with a little bit of jazz thrown in there.
They do it in a sensitive and graceful way without crossing the line into sappy, like some folk
"My roots are as a singer-songwriter, but I've taken to the band context. It's going to be neat
to revisit an intimate setting as just a duo. In some ways, it highlights the songs more, it's a little
more to the core of what it's all about," said Genauer.
And for Genauer, life is all about music. It's what gives spring to his step, which is why many
Strangefolk fans were taken aback when he decided to split from the jam band. But in the first
year after leaving, Genauer realized music is what excited him, so he got married, enrolled in
business school at Cornell University in upstate New York and formed Assembly of Dust: All of
which is loosely documented on "Man With a Plan," the leadoff track on "The Honest Hour,"
Assembly of Dust's newest disc that has received a warm reception from music lovers.
"I love how the jam band scene has evolved. Its free-wheelin' spirit. I think my criticism is
of bands that get up there with a waa-waa pedal and just wank," said Genauer. "I think people lose
sight of what the roots are of the jam band scene. It's '70s song-inspired rock, like the Grateful
Dead. It's phenomenal musicianship and good songwriting, and if you don't have either, you're wasting
The success of "The Honest Hour," a live album, is fueling Genauer's excitement and drive to keep on
touring, and since adjusting to his latest home move, New York City is inspiring his songwriting.
The city is on fire, said Genauer, with energy, excitement and creative productivity.
"Genauer has continued to earn the respect of many musical circles for just great songwriting.
Today, you don't see many singer-songwriters that can stand on his own," said Jon Walsh,
owner of Frites and who also books the music.
In the intimate upstairs setting at Frites, audience members will be able to really feel the mood
of each song. You have more colors to paint with playing with a full band, said Genauer,
but the simplicity of a skeletal presentation of an acoustic duo gives it a different flavor.
"There's no better place to see a solo musician. When you see someone in a bigger room, you'll
lose a lot of the sound. In our small room, you really hear a good hearty message," said Walsh.