Genauer, Assembly of Dust jam in
By John W. Barry
Through the window of a jam band tour bus, Reid Genauer marvels
at a wide open Texas ranch.
It's the kind of place that could very easily
find immortality in a Lyle Lovett song. But these rolling hills and winding
fences are destined to provide the framework for a tune written by Genauer, a
former college student from Burlington, Vt., and ex-member of the jam band
Strangefolk, who is currently putting a master's degree in business to work in
the marketing department at Snapple.
Genauer paints a picture of that ranch
with clever chord progressions and lyrics that give birth to barmaids and A
good wife named Irene, she's always high on caffeine. You can check out his
sound tonight, when Reid Genauer and the Assembly of Dust settles on the West
Strand Grill in Kingston.
I love that stuff the storytelling element, the
barroom brawl,said Genauer, a fan of Neil Young, the Grateful Dead and
Crosby, Stills and Nash.One of the things that jam bands have suffered from
is not having that sort of mythology or folklore element to it. That's what was
so compelling about those early songs the sort of archetypal
Genauer's songwriting honors the spirit of an artist from America's
heartland like Lovett, but never abandons the bleeding organ, rhythmic stops and
starts and noodling guitar leads that are the cornerstones of a good jam
Style unique Rick Schneider, a radio personality at WDST (100.1
FM) in Woostock and host of a weekly program dedicated to jam band music, said
Genauer takes a unique approach to music by building his songs around lyrics and
structure in addition to jamming.
There are a lot of jam bands out there
focusing on jamming their faces off,said Schneider, whose Woodstock Jams
program is broadcast each Wednesday on WDST from 11 p.m. to midnight.Reid, on
the other hand, relies on songs and song structure, songs with lyrics that you
can catch onto rather than drifting away into an instrumental jam. It's a
direction that a lot of bands are heading toward today.
In addition to
quitting Strangefolk after nine years, Genauer recently got married and
graduated from the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University. He
returned to school to gain a better handle on the business side of his
I felt like I had followed a dream big time and really lived a
passion, and during that time felt at sort of a disadvantage as an artist
dealing with major corporations,he said.It was a culture I didn't
But nine years in Strangefolk also left him craving something
different.I had reached the end of my journey, he said.It was time for a
change of scenery for me. I lost heart, lost my way. It didn't really add up
One thing Genauer never seemed to lose hold of was the thread that
links those wide open Texas ranches to the masses who turn out to see him and
others play at events such as last summer's Gathering of the Vibes jam band
festival near Albany.
The things I love about the American countryside are
the big open spaces and rolling hills,Genauer said.
And don't forget about
those barroom brawls.
One of the great things about writing music or
writing anything is that you get to invent characters and invent landscapes,Genauer said.