Words by: Brian Heisler :: Images by: Tobin Voggesser
Assembly of Dust & Honkytonk Homeslice
02.24.07 :: The Fox Theatre :: Boulder, CO
A Saturday night in Boulder brought out two bright groups and a cheery pack of revelers. Billy Nershi got things going with his acoustic trio, Honkytonk Homeslice. The relaxed audience, perhaps the calmest The Fox has ever seen, sipped their drinks as if gathered around a campfire while their old friend led them towards greener pastures.
Jillian & Billy Nershi - Honkytonk Homeslice
02.24 :: Boulder, CO
Billy's wife, Jillian, stood between the guitar players (Nershi and Scott Law), always moving with a microphone held close to her cowgirl outfit. The String Cheese Incident's "One Step Closer" was light and happy; and during another tune, they lifted a middle finger to the crowd, singing, "We won't get mad and use bad words, but sometimes we'll flip the bird." Predictably, there was much cheering. Billy moved to Colorado's favorite instrument, the dobro, as Law and Jillian harmonized the best song of the set, "Shot In The Blue."
Up next was Assembly of Dust. What better way to open a set than with a Led Zeppelin cover? "Hey Hey What Can I Do" immediately spiked the energy in the room and got folks dancing. Although altogether different from Jimmy Page, lead guitarist Adam Terrell quickly impressed with his masterful, effortless shredding, which continued for the rest of the night. Fan favorite "Roads" kept things moving. If nothing else, AOD always makes the audience smile. Their sound is well-crafted and perfectly full, fronted by the endlessly upbeat Reid Genauer. Maybe the reason his music always seems to resonate so well is the positive nature of his spirit. It's hard not to have a good time when Genauer is on the stage.
Assembly of Dust with Billy Nershi
02.24 :: Boulder, CO
"Telling Sue," perhaps the best track off AOD's new album, Recollection, has the great feel of older Genauer material. Continuing with the vintage Genauer vibe, "Man With A Plan" was another highlight that perhaps worked as a veiled story of Genauer's departure from his former band, Strangefolk and the path he took to AOD. Billy Nershi joined them on dobro for "The Honest Hour." The set closing "Poland" found Terrell manhandling his Stratocaster in front of a sea of appreciative stares.
After a break, the so-called "Assembly of Honkytonk" emerged, combining the two bands for a set of many covers. Although the late hour meant a smaller crowd, the energy only went up. Billy Nershi began by singing happy birthday to Adam Terrell. Then Genauer dug into The Band's "Up On Cripple Creek," with Terrell and Law dueling on electric guitars. Billy took the mic back for the Cheese's "Miss Brown's Teahouse." It was a bit strange to hear him singing this at The Fox without his old bandmates. Nonetheless, the song was given an interesting twist by a more straightforward approach without the usual SCI rambling. Eric Clapton's "Lay Down Sally" fit perfectly with the supergroups sound. Scott Law sang lead, and his guitar nailed Clapton's original twang.
Assembly of Honkytonk :: 02.24 :: Boulder, CO
And if you're going to do a set built on covers, you'd better make sure to add some Beatles. Billy and Jillian led "Dear Prudence," followed by Genauer's run through "Get Back." The night ended with the AOD classic "Tavern Walker." Rather than stopping for an encore, they kept rockin' until it was time to load out. Billy commented, "It's a little sentimental. This is the last show of the run. These guys kick ass. We've had a blast." The cheers and grins all around showed them the feeling was mutual.
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