NORTHAMPTON - Those who chose Pearl Street's intimate
clubroom over a cramped, sweaty dorm room last Thursday were treated to an evening of fun and
frivolity. While Game 7 played to an audience of millions across the globe, Reid Genauer And
The Assembly Of Dust took the stage before dozens in Northampton.
And those dozens did not leave disappointed.
Genauer, formerly of Strangefolk, has put together a troupe of tremendous musicians whose
talents serve the largely vocal-driven music to great effect.
Keys-man and back-up vocalist Nate Wilson of Percy Hill contributes frenetic organ and chunky
electric piano to the fold, bringing an element of jazz to the primarily folk/rock repertoire.
Bassist John Leccese, also of Percy Hill, is a solid proponent of the low end who sings backup.
Drummer Andy Herrick, formerly of Moon Boot Lover, rounds out the rhythm section and guitarist
Adam Terrell injects the music with dangerously melodic leads, heavily influenced by Jerry Garcia
and especially by Trey Anastasio.
Genauer, whose on-stage charisma makes up for what he lacks in height, is a fine guitarist
and lead vocalist. His lyrics, intelligent and introspective, run the gamut of human emotion
(a complement to his music which, while primarily rock, tends to run the gamut of style).
Concerned with joy and sadness, love and loneliness, Reid's words are sensitive and playful.
The group, augmented on this night by percussionist Yahuba Garcia Torres, ran through two
blistering sets of catchy, danceable tunes with big, sing-along choruses. "Burned Down"
moved seamlessly between rock and dub, combining the angst of alternative rock with an island vibe.
"Tavern Walker," a funky vamp with a bluegrass chorus, explores the jubilation of drunkenness
in its lyrics. The uplifting "Sometimes," a staple from Reid's Strangefolk days, is a stylistic
nod to the Grateful Dead. "Love Junkie," a rock tune with serious funk underpinnings, exposes
Genauer's lightheartedness. "I love you more than all the singers in a Motown group," he sings.
The genre-hopping sextet closed the night with the traditional "And We Bid You Goodnight,"
a tune popularized by the Dead. The small crowd left Pearl Street's cozy clubroom mourning
the loss suffered by their beloved Red Sox, and wishing for a second dose of the Assembly's joyful,