Ballards With A Jam
By Written by Brita Brundage
May 20, 2004
Reid Genauer had been the lead singer of Strangefolk for
about 10 years when he took the odd step of pursuing an MBA at Cornell University. Armed
with his degree, he set his sights again on music, choosing members from various
Strangefolk-esque projects to start a new band with a new, business-minded focus.
The band is called Reid Genauer and the Assembly of Dust , or A.O.D. if you're lazy.
Though the music they make doesn't break any new ground, it's accomplished enough to
keep the crowds coming. Perhaps in a scene where the jambands are becoming less Dead
and Phish-like with each passing year in favor of electronic, hip-hop and culturally
diverse influences, A.O.D. is comfortably familiar.
There's a touch of rock balladeer in Genauer, he has a sure voice and an earnest approach.
Adam Terrell on guitar lends tasteful leads while former Percy Hill keyboardist Nate Wilson
still plays with loose, fiery abandon. The songs, based in the singer-songwriter style,
have frequent rhythm changes and plucky guitar melodies; they chase musical circles while
Genauer provides the punch. A.O.D. sings songs about singing songs, or about other people
(like Etta James) singing songs, or even, on Harrower, about the plight of sharecroppers.
There's a clear desire to conjure some of that Southern back-porch wisdom, the old man
with the old guitar, whether it has anything to do with the five band members or not.
The point, however, is that A.O.D. knows exactly what it is doing and has managed in
the past two years to cause quite a stir among jamband fans of whom not much is demanded
except maybe that while listening they sway or toss around a beach ball.