Show review


By Written by Steve Feeney
Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
Monday, September 27, 2004

It took a while to get there. But as the clock reached the wee hours of Sunday morning, it was rock 'n' roll heaven at the State Theatre.

The Assembly of Dust, a seasoned regional quintet with higher aspirations, was full-tilt into its best material and several hundred happy fans were dancing like crazy and singing along. AOD, as the group is called, have the Vermont origins and propensity for extended instrumental passages that have led to their categorization as a jam band. What takes them above and beyond that label, though, is the fine songwriting of Reid Genauer, lead vocalist.

Genauer honed his talent for years, working with the group Strangefolk while covering his career bets by earning a master's degree from Cornell University. Some of the material played by AOD was initially developed in that earlier group.

Folk, rock and country would be the primary ingredients. Indeed, a few of the tunes AOD offered on Saturday would not have been out of place on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. Others moved more closely to a jazz-like improvisational feel.

AOD finished a two hour-plus show with three of Genauer's best tunes. The gentle chords of "Speculator" rose subtly out of the remains of the previous piece. The crowd caught on quickly as the song built, helping the beaming vocalist with the salient line, "It's a good song, playin' on the radio."

Nate Wilson's piano solo with its repeated four note motif was high-flying and built to a soaring crescendo before Genauer returned to croon about how "It's a good life . . . (and) . . . it's a fine day."

Next came another beauty, more introspective - "Roads," with its countrified guitar figure. Adam Terrell added a highly-charged guitar solo as he did to the finale, Genauer's autobiographical "Man With A Plan." This electrified folk piece featured sweet harmonies by Genauer and bassist John August Leccese.

When Wilson joined in, to trade vocal lines with the others, the tune built to another transcendent climax. Opening acts included a vocal duo called Fuzz and Carrie who explored musical history a bit. Acoustic takes on tunes by Joni Mitchell and Pink Floyd gave the pair a chance to reach for some pleasant harmonies.

The Pete Kilpatrick Supergroup, who showed some talent for pop tunefulness, unfortunately mismatched it with a heavy instrumental sound.