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By Written by Jon Blood
Tuesday, October 28, 2003

It is a pleasant surprise when a band can totally, unexpectedly blow you away, especially when you have never heard of them before. I walked into the State Theater expecting a run of the mill Phish-esque jam band, but got so much more.

Three years ago Reid Genauer received an almost career-ending slap in the face when Mammoth Records signed the band he fronted, Strangefolk, and then dropped them right before their breakthrough album was set to be released. Devastated, Genauer left the band and went to business school at Cornell University. After receiving an unexpected boost of confidence at an open mic performance, Genauer returned to the music life, first playing local clubs and then forming his own band of likeminded musicians. Thus concludes the genesis of Reid Genauer and The Assembly of Dust.

The jam band is a beautiful thing. It is a truly unique experience to go to a concert and not hear the songs the same way as they are performed on the CD. The Assembly of Dust is made up of an all star cast, formed out of the ashes of other fallen jam bands. Genauer's rhythm guitar creates a backbone that is melded with the bass of ex-Percy Hill member John Leccese and the drumming of Andy Herrick, formerly of Moon Boot Lover. Guitarist Adam Terrell and keyboardist Nate Wilson (both formerly of Groovechild) combine with Genauer's sometimes soulful, sometimes country or folk vocals to produce a unique, distinguishable sound. The real catch of this band is their ability to stay creative and deliver a different sound with every song, pumping out solid jams and driving audiences into a frenzy. The show began with an acoustic performance reuniting Genauer with Strangefolk guitarist Jon Trafton. The two played both Assembly of Dust songs and Strangefolk classics, with Genauer laying down the rhythm and Trafton intertwining guitar lines. The unity between the two former bandmates demonstrated their passion for music. While they may have gone their separate ways, there is still a sense of compatibility and completeness that is evident when these two musicians play together.

After the acoustic session, The Assembly of Dust limbered up and took the stage. Any notions that this band would sound anything like the previous acoustic session were soon dashed, as funk, rock, folk, and even a tint of gospel were combined to create an irrepressible head-bobbing motif that was entirely palpable throughout the show.
Trying to compare the live performance to their CD would be futile as well. When the band opened up for solos, which they did repeatedly, their true expertise on their instruments was unmistakable. Adam Terrell ripped solos on the guitar, while Nate Wilson's jazz organ solos built tension so thick you could cut it with a knife. Then there was the electrifying - dare I say orgasmic - release as the band segued back into song.

For the conclusion of this epic evening, Jon Trafton came back to join the band for an encore. The chemistry between the members was unique; it is rare to see three guitarists on one stage, but they pulled it off with flying colors. Trafton received heavy applause as the band finally left, leaving one awed State Theater crowd. After a very tight set, Reid Genauer and the Assembly of Dust showed the jam band world why they are a worthy addition to this unique brand of music.
Jon Blood can be reached at