CD review

By Written by Steve Morse
September 14, 2009
Boston Globe

Call this a case of high ambition. But it’s a fully realized ambition in the hands of Reid Genauer, the former singer of Vermont’s Strangefolk who now fronts the even more versatile Assembly of Dust. He has a hauntingly cosmic voice that falls somewhere between Neil Young and Jeff Tweedy, while his lyrics recall the trippy Robert Hunter of Grateful Dead fame. Genauer makes your head spin in the dreamy “Arc of the Sun’’ and the gentle acoustic ballad “You Lay the Dust.’’ The music incorporates many influences, from bluegrass to post-jam rock and alt-country. Here’s the really ambitious part - he has assembled a great cast of special guests on every song. Woodstock guru Richie Havens adds hooky vocals to the spiritual “All That I Am Now,’’ Grace Potter duets amid the soft filigree of “Light Blue Lover,’’ and Béla Fleck rocks with unique banjo cascades on “Edges.’’ Other guests include Phish’s Mike Gordon, mandolinist David Grisman, Theresa Andersson, Al Schnier of moe., John Scofield, Keller Williams, and Martin Sexton. The music never gets unwieldy, and each tune is a minor gem unto itself. (Out now)