Reid Genauer & Folks: Extended Release
Extended Release is, in many ways, a “greatest hits” album that reinvents some of the tracks Reid Genauer composed for his long-running projects Strangefolk and Assembly of Dust. This band has a revolving cast, with pals of Genauer’s from the East and West Coast coming and going as needed. The songs were played onstage, at three different shows, without any rehearsals. The musicians just take off together and the performances are always impressive. “Sideways Train” rides a wild, swinging groove laid down by AOD’s rhythm section, drummer Dave Diamond and bassist John Leccese. Genauer sings the tune with a devil-may-care insouciance, before stepping back to let AOD guitarist Adam Terrell, ALO guitarist Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz and JGB organist Melvin Seals trade spirited solos. “Mercury Blues” is a galloping, ‘50s-flavored rock tune that sings the praises of Genauer’s favorite automobile. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead’s Scott Metzger takes the spotlight, somehow making his guitar sound like both a jaw harp and blues harmonica, before tossing in a couple of surf-guitar runs to boost the energy. Genauer sings “Conspire to Smile,” an old Strangefolk number, in his best high tenor, showing off the vocal fills that have long made him one of the jamband scene’s top frontmen. The ensemble’s arrangement of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready” is given a funky backbeat, with Diamond’s snare shots dancing around Seals’ organ and Genauer’s improvisations on the verses. “Sometimes,” another Strangefolk tune, slips into Grateful Dead territory, with long intertwining guitar solos that open up the melody, eliciting cheers of appreciation from the crowd.