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Open Road

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Album Review

With the departure of founding guitarist, vocalist, and primary songwriter Reid Genauer in the summer of 2000, Strangefolk was forced to realign their lineup and their very sound. Produced by Vermont mainstay and longtime Strangefolk collaborator Dan Archer (who has also played guitar in Phish drummer Jon Fishman's Pork Tornado side project), Open Road highlights the contributions of new guitarist Luke Montgomery and keyboardist Scott Shdeed. The former adds a quartet of original material, while Shdeed colors the band's newly electrified sound. Featuring electric guitars mellow enough not to drown out the perpetually calming bed of acoustic strumming, Strangefolk is hard-pressed to find a sharp edge. As always, their harmonies are tight and warm. For the most part, though, the songwriting is innocuous folk-rock with an occasional upbeat white-boy funk rhythm thrown in for danceability. The lyrics span an idealized green countryside with burbling streams, rambling dirt roads, and warm sunlight. Feel-good music to the core, Strangefolk sounds rebellious when using the word "goddamn."


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Formed together by two college students from the University of Vermont, Reid Genauer (vocals/ guitar) and Jon Trafton (guitar) spent the first year together under the name Stranefolk while performing in pubs and coffee houses all throughout campus. Armed with only their acoustic guitars and distortion pedals, Genauer and Trafton eventually recruited Erik Glockler on bass and Luke Smith on drums, fulfilling the line-up as a four piece. With their own style of merging bluegrass, folk, rock and blues,...
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Open Road, Strangefolk
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