Assembly of Dust, The Honest Hour
Led by former Strangefolk singer-songwriter Reid Genauer, the Assembly of Dust (who more accurately should be named the Assembly of the University of New Hampshire's Music Majors) balance the virtuosic instrumental impulses of a New England jam band with the modest supportive needs of their songs. No doubt the quintet can play — keyboardist Nathan Wilson, in particular, is poised to step up the intensity with his itchy trigger-fingers — but this live set keeps things economical. The sensitive ruminations Genauer puts forth in his most sincere Paul Simon-esque vocal pitch are never overwhelmed. However, where Simon's sixth sense is clearly urbane, Genauer has hippie dreams rooted in the countryside, where the angst of his "Man with a Plan" and the aspirations of his common-man "Bus Driver" live to find peace. Once content, the band lets loose, stretching out with tasteful underpinnings of folk, blues, jazz and world music as the ten delicately percussive, always empathetic minutes of "Speculator" bear out.