Assembly of Dust: Recollection

By Dennis Cook

Mainstream tastes elude me. How can tripe like Nickelback go multi-platinum when there are brilliant populists like Michael Penn and Neal Casal – true torchbearers for The Beatles' legacy – just waiting to brighten speakers? Add AOD's Reid Genauer and Nate Wilson to this list of smart, devilishly melodic tunesmiths. This pair oozes the head-bobbin' ease of '70s Paul Simon and Linda Ronstadt on the Assembly's first true studio release, a heart-warmer that'll have you hitting the repeat button with lightning speed.

It's the second or third pass where the true depths of their talents and unbridled verve are revealed in all their sing-along glory. AOD specializes in "soaking in simple pleasures," as they sing on "Whistle Clock," a bell-bottom shuffler of the first order. Combining the sturdy workmanship of The Band with a greater sweet tooth for pop hooks, they move with the grace of a hawk in a good wind – every part, every instrumental break, every bridge and rib-stickin' chorus right where it needs to be.

Their Cripple Creek twang is powered by serious rock muscle, especially the sharply etched guitar of Adam Terrell, one of the most unsung six-stringers out there. Throughout Recollection, he stirs up the rough, beautiful spirit of White Album-era Beatles, alternating between his inner George, John and Paul.

Genauer's voice has always been a natural fit for radio, kin to Todd Rundgren and Squeeze's Glenn Tilbrook. This time there's even more to like, especially a slow rolling power akin to Kenny Loggins or Gerry Rafferty that bursts out on the choruses. And keyboardist Wilson's pipes aren't too shabby either - his warm singing playing Bobby Whitlock to Genauer's Clapton-esque passions in a winning update of the great Derek and the Dominoes dynamic.

You're a stronger man than me if you can get past opener "Grand Design" without needing to immediately hear it again. Maybe twice. "Zero To The Skin" is a small journey, twisting in all the right ways. "Telling Sue" is so flexible it could be vintage Chris Isaak OR David Alan Coe. "The Honest Hour" is a lovely dying bed hymn for non-churchgoers. "Bootlegger's Advice" would be a BIG hit if it were sung by that "All Jacked Up" chick (Gretchen Wilson). In fact, AOD should have a music agent pounding the pavement in Nashville selling these jewels to any hat act and CMT-rump shaker that'll buy. Not only would it brighten up the grim AOR-country landscape considerably, it would give the Assembly boys some of the gold toilet, private jet money they so richly deserve.

There's so much to like here and virtually nothing not to. Sure, if your tastes don't run towards the pop end of the spectrum this might not initially grab you. But, give it a little time and the integrity, skill, and heart behind this music will surely impress most music lovers.

JamBase | San Francisco
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[Published on: 3/7/07]

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dedhed6111 starstarstarstarstar Wed 3/7/2007 02:00PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


i don't really care if you dug old strangefolk or not, this stuff is the REAL DEAL folks. When your parents or grandparents get all teary-eyed and reminisce about "real music" this is exactly what they are talking about. Don't miss this for anything

pgeano starstarstarstarstar Wed 3/7/2007 04:19PM
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Seriously! This one's a bit sadder than the other two CD's, but it warms the heart as well as any of the classics. If you allow yourself the pleasure of this one, you'll hear a band that has evolved on the road since the first CD. Nate's and Adam's chops are not so much stifled by the studio as they are... carefully placed. If you're a newcomer to the AOD scene, though, I actually recommend the "Honest Hour" live CD or the 12/31/06 show off of The new CD allows the "inner" harmony and subtleties of these road-tested live gems to shine more brightly, especially for someone like me who has heard them live about a thousand times and still can't get enough!

slickyvt starstarstarstarstar Wed 3/7/2007 07:57PM
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AOD did it yet again. Take a look at their catalog of lyrics on There is plenty more good stuff to come. Gotta love Truck Farm. Recollection is a great album thanks for all the music. You're a great bunch of musicians. If you have not checked them out yet do so and you will definitely be hooked.

phishmanxx starstarstarstarstar Thu 3/8/2007 05:32AM
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FANTASTIC!!!! I have been following these guys since their inception at the Stone Church in NH back in '01 and they truly have gotten better and better with each year. So psyched for these guys!! My favorite song has to be either Truck Farm, Zero to the Skin, or Whistle Clock.

I agree with PGEANO....Get some of their live shows on and make sure you get to their shows in the next few months. You will not be disappointed, trust me.

All of you NE folks, try and check out the Nate Wilson Group....SICK!!!!

dedhed6111 Thu 3/8/2007 06:21AM
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Just gotta throw my two cents in.. check out both shows from bonnaroo 05, the regular show and the sonic stage show both blew my mind.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Thu 3/8/2007 09:27AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

I loved Reid with Strangefolk, I loved him after that as Reid Genauer Group, and I STILL like his music. However....... (drum rolls)..... the new disc is entirely tooo POP sounding!
this scares me, I dont want him to sell out the way Dave Matthews did. Dave was cool in the beginning but it turned into sissy girly pop music. Please AOD, do not do this!!!
On the album Recollection, Telling Sue, is the best song!!!
The rest of it just does not do justice to the smoking jams you can get at a live show. I hope that the NEXT release from AOD is a live album, or even a double live!! if wishes were reality............ I admire Reid for his song writing and his tight group, unfortunately I have not seen him since his days with strangefolk. I wish I had some recent live material, but I cant download anything cos my PC is too old and decrepit. peace yall...

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstar Thu 3/8/2007 09:39AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

its easy to become Jaded about bands studio releases, especially when you are used to seeing them LIVE!!
I have these thoughts about alot of studio albums, for the LIVE music fan; these releases can be a let down. can be...
some folks LIKE the studio albums, I just cant get into it,though I do try.. peace again my homeys.. :P

brianDC starstarstarstarstar Thu 3/8/2007 11:48AM
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When I first heard Recollection, I was a little disappointed because I enjoy the live AOD stuff and Recollection sounded like it was a bit made-for-radio boring. That was a wrong first impression. Fortunately, I kept it in the rotation and each time it grew more and more on me. Now its a contender for one of my favorite releases of the last year. It really is a brilliant collection of songs. The music is groovy and catchy and though there isn't a lot of jamming or even solo'ing that will blow you away, the feel of the band's sound keeps you coming back for it again and again. If you decide to give it a chance, do yourself a favor and let it sink in before moving on.

willn starstarstarstarstar Sat 3/10/2007 10:52AM
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Great CD. Incredible band.
It's a winner, everyone should buy it.

Christopher3 starstarstarstarstar Fri 3/23/2007 01:12PM
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Great cd!! Thoughtful lyrics and great harmony. I find myself playing the cd over and over again in the car. Assembly of Dust is a must see band!!

radioioJAM starstarstarstarstar Tue 4/10/2007 07:42PM
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click here to check out the latest AOD - recollection.

rahtamata Mon 4/30/2007 06:07AM
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hey Milesgone! u'd rather hear a double live album release than a studio? Im not to sure i agree w/ u. There shows are out there, both SBD and Aud, so why the need for another live show when so easily attainable. Im not sayin that i wouldn't buy a live AOD cd. I'd rather buy a studio alum that they know is a studio album. Where they can experimnet w/ sounds and get that vibe.

Would u rather have the Grateful Dead rather put out a double live album or an American Beauty @ that time.

just my opinion, no harassment was inteneded.

id rather see their talents in studion shine as well as their live performance. Their performances are donw tight.