Show review

Ballards With A Jam

By Written by Brita Brundage
Fairfield Weekly
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.