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Some Assembly Required (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

When an album's list of guests includes guitarist John Scofield and banjoist Béla Fleck (both of whom are featured on Some Assembly Required), jazz enthusiasts are likely to take notice. But even though this 2009 release incorporates jazz elements on occasion (as well as elements of blues, soul, and country), Some Assembly Required is a roots rock/Americana effort first and foremost. That was Assembly of Dust's orientation on previous releases, and it continues to be their orientation on this 54-minute CD — which maintains the strong '70s flavor they are known for. Influences the New York City residents had in the past (including Neil Young, Little Feat, J.J. Cale, and the Eagles) are no less evident on Some Assembly Required, and their love affair with the '70s continues on tunes like "Borrowed Feet" (the song that features Scofield), "Edges" (featuring Fleck), and "Leadbelly" (which was written in memory of the Southern country blues/folk icon but doesn't try to emulate him stylistically). Scofield and Fleck aren't the CD's only noteworthy guests; other well-known guests range from progressive bluegrass mandolin player David Grisman on "Cold Coffee" to singer Richie Havens on the opener, "All That I Am Now." But Assembly of Dust are the ones in the driver's seat — the ones who do the most to shape the album's direction. Some Assembly Required doesn't pretend to be groundbreaking, but if Assembly of Dust are derivative, they are pleasingly derivative. This is a well-crafted, nicely executed disc that never fails to be enjoyable.

Customer Reviews

A new canvas for AOD: Painted with a colorful palette and a handful of brushes

Get ready to experience a complete musical expression on several dimensions. This record captures AOD at a fulcrumatic point in their burgeoning musical careers. The music on SAR is fundamentally different from previous work, but nevertheless hangs well in the canon. One of the ways this is ensured is in the broad elliptical pathways of bringing forward Strangefolk material in new context along with brand new songs. Feather in a great list of guests and you get a modern masterpiece. Categorizing all of the guests in equal stature has left me unfulfilled because the countrified guitar contributions by Al Schnier on "High Brow" are an essential garnish. Essential, but not overwhleming to Adam Terrell's phenomenally muscular playing. Grace Potter is like a ghost haunting the "Light Blue Lover" composition. Again quiet in the overall expanse of the song, yet critical. On the flip side, Bela's banjo in "Edges" is one furious piece of banjo and the keystone in the song's arch. All in all, SAR is a fabulous listen end-to-end. Varied. Interesting. Dramatic. Rock!


I didn't know this band and just bought it on a whim while seeing it in the listeners also bought section.

This is my favorite album of the year. If you are a fan of bands like railroad earth and tea leaf green, this is for you.

A Classic

I just recently became aware of AOD, but I'm quite familiar with the guests on this album. I can't quite categorize this band because they're so much more than a jam band. This is one album where each song is unique yet all are crafted by a common thread that's the genius of this uber talented band. I can't think of another album better than this one for a long drive or just chillin' with a good set of earphones and an adult beverage.


Formed: 2002 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Melding the deep grooves of blues and R&B with guitar work that recalls J.J. Cale and Little Feat, Assembly of Dust is a New York-based quintet which has developed a sizable following on the East Coast for their rich country-accented melodies and impressive chops. Assembly of Dust was formed by lead vocalist and songwriter Reid Genauer after the breakup of his band Strangefolk. Genauer decided to record a solo album and recruited some friends from Strangefolk's days on the road to help out. After...
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