Americana jammers clean up their act
By Written by Gray Chapman
July 21, 2009
On Assembly of Dust’s second studio album, the band harnesses the energy of its voltaic, raw live performances, and whittles out a vigorous record steeped in Americana. Just like a good-old-fashioned hootenanny, it’s gussied up with collaborations from some of the jamband scene’s finest, including Bela Fleck, Phish’s Mike Gordon and others.
Frontman Reid Genauer (formerly of Strangefolk) has refined Assembly of Dust’s rough-and-tumble onstage sound, setting the freewheeling melodies to graceful, often poignant lyrics. Jangling banjos and kinetic electric guitars rouse up the album’s rollicking sound, masking occasional flashes of rueful, bluesy solemnity. Songs like “Light Blue Lover” and “You Lay the Dust” share a Paul Simon-esque wistfulness, while tracks like “Borrowed Feet” shuffle with a ramshackle charm.
All the while, Genauer’s country-tinged vocals lead Assembly of Dust into maturity.