Assembly of Dust

With the term "jam band" incorporating everything from blues to bluegrass these days, it's an overused handle that barely describes all the disparate bands lumped within its parameters. Still, Assembly of Dust has found its fit there, mostly due to its freewheeling dexterity, a sense of retro revival, and a folksy populist approach accrued through playing the festival circuit. There is also a perception that lingers from singer/guitarist Reid Genaur's earlier outfit, Stranefolk, which had heavy instrumental ambitions — the common element in the jam-band template. However on AOD's sophomore set, the appropriately titled Recollection, there may be fewer tendencies to typecast. With its sepia-tone arrangements, it carries the echo of Americana, specifically the Sixties sounds of the Grateful Dead's Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. The jubilant album opener, "Grand Design," and its closer, a gospel-tinged ballad called "Walking on Water," wear as comfortably as an old flannel shirt or a tie-dyed T. Listening to the spry twang on "Truck Farm," the down-home demeanor of "The Honest Hour," and the funky refrains of "Zero to the Skin" and "Whistle Clock" should be enough to keep the hippies happy ... or anyone, for that matter, who simply enjoys a groove. — Lee Zimmerman

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Lee Zimmerman