Guitarist Reid Genauer of Strangefolk and Assembly of Dust has detailed a collaborative new Reid Genauer & Folks album entitled Conspire To Smile. The mix of covers and originals will be issued for free on rolling track-by-track basis beginning on February 1, the same day a coinciding Kickstarter campaign launches.
The album is made up of 12 reworked covers and two original songs. One of the originals, the title track featuring guest vocals from Midnight North’s Elliott Peck, was recorded by the original members of Strangefolk and marks the first time Genauer, Erik Glockler, Luke Smith and Jon Trafton have recorded together in the studio since their 1998 album A Great Long While. The other original, “Amplified Messiah,” marks the first studio recording made by the original Assembly of Dust lineup since Some Assembly Required in 2009. A partial list of contributors to Conspire To Smile includes: Jason Crosby, Dave Diamond, Marc Friedman, Jennifer Hartswick, Andy Herrick, Alex Jordan, Scott Law, Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz, John Leccese, Grahame Lesh, Aaron Maxwell, Scott Metzger, Ryan Montbleau, Adam Terrell and Nate Wilson.
Genauer describes the project as “a studio album, social media thought experiment and Kickstarter campaign under the moniker “Conspire to Smile” with the intent of kickstarting compassion, smiles and communal strength through song.” Here’s more from Reid:
Contrary to popular belief, I don’t skip around all day blissed out eating candy corn and singing Broadway tunes. Like most, I feel a weight these days that’s almost unbearable. The sensation is disorienting but not unreasonable given all of the funky things at hand. That said, there are a lot of wonderful things in our midst as well. Most of us tend to discount the tasty and trend toward the tragedy. It struck me that we need more balance in our online social lives – a better light to dark ratio in our news feeds. For those of you that follow my blabbering on social media, you may have noticed that in addition to shedding light on the under-appreciated genre of Face Melting Soft Rock, I’ve been tagging many of my posts with the phrase #ConspireToSmile. Besides being a fun thing to say, Conspire to Smile is an album and Kickstarter campaign that begins February 1, 2018. Conspire to Smile is also a communal conviction and my personal new years resolution to break the negative reinforcing loop of social media and shift our collective conversation from paralysis to possibility. It’s the notion that we are more alike than different, the belief that music can simultaneously deliver wild freedom and the sense of comfort that comes from belonging to it. Join me in the act of summoning our collective lore so we can #ConspireToSmile. My co-conspirators include all of current members of Strangefolk, Assembly of Dust and a gaggle of soft rock face melters from our extended musical community
“Storytelling is the basic building block of our culture and humanity,” added Genauer. “Tribes, economies, co-ops, clubs, sculptures, social posts and of course songs all represent classes of story. Social media is literally a form of socializing and storytelling through the creation of media.”
Listen to Episode Two of The JamBase Podcast to hear Genauer’s cover of Lenny Kravitz’s “Let Love Rule” from the new album. Watch the video for “Conspire To Smile” featuring Strangefolk below:
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