CD review

Following Strangefolk's Career Reid Genauer Sweeps
Together his Assembly of Dust

By Written by Tim Dwenger
Muaic Review

The Assembly of Dust was a counter culture movement that occurred around the period of the Middle Ages in locations throughout Europe and the Middle East. The movement was centered on music and nature as a source of recreation, spiritualism and escapism.

This historical movement represents to former Strangefolk frontman Reid Genauer the perfect description of what a band should be. He has formed The Assembly of Dust in this image, and has quickly re-established himself in the music scene of the Northeast.

The Assembly of Dust is the result of a period of soul searching for Genauer. I just knew that my time with Strangefolk had run its course, he told The Marquee from New York City, recalling why he had chosen to leave the band that he had helped found and attend Cornell University to earn his MBA. As a band member you are sometimes made to feel like a second-class citizen, kind of an idiot savant. I needed some time to try to figure out who I was. In business school I gained perspective, insight, and practical skills that I use in all aspects of my life.

Throughout his time at Cornell, Genauer continued to play his guitar and write music, though he admitted that there was sometimes a little less driving you when you know there isnt a stage or an audience ready to receive what you create. Soon after graduating he resumed performing, doing open mics at first, and then returning almost immediately to the clubs that he had frequented with Strangefolk.

Genauer ran into friend and musician Adam Terrell (guitar), who agreed to join him at a small gig one night.After doing the show with Adam and having so much fun, I ran into John (Leccese, bass) and talked with him about maybe doing some gigs, said Genauer. All of a sudden there was three-fourths of a band, and we said lets get a drummer and do these shows as a band. With very little rehearsal the four hit the stage to a very warm reception. With the addition of Nate Wilson on keyboards, the band was complete.

Though Genauer is surrounded by a strong group of musicians, his songwriting is what anchors the band. He is a storyteller in the style of Bob Dylan or Townes Van Zandt.

The Assembly of Dusts upcoming release, The Honest Hour, showcases this passion in the bands natural setting. Recorded live in Troy, N.Y., the album was mixed for best possible sound quality and balance, but there was no overdubbing or studio magic.

The opening track,Man with a Plan,features Genauer singing about a man struggling with his initial exposure to New York City. The song blends elements of 70s R&B and rock and roll with Beatle-esque harmonies and intricate lyrical couplings. Fans of Strangefolk will quickly recognize Genauers style, but will also soon realize how much this signature sound has matured. Strangefolk was more naive and blissfully ignorant, both in terms of the business and the music. We were a one-trick pony; we were what we were not through design but by default. With The Assembly of Dust we are able to willfully decide what we want to sound like, said. Genauer.

In recognition of this maturity, The Assembly of Dust has been asked to open for some of the biggest touring names of the summer. After a two-week stint with David Crosbys CPR, Genauer and company were tapped by The Who, The Dead and most recently, Bruce Hornsby. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to play with these kinds of bands in the second phase of my career. They are iconic figures that we get to witness in a very first-hand way ... it is kind of like the Karate Kid and Miagi.