The Strangefolk Reunion at The Capitol Theatre is not just an opportunity to get the band back together for its founder Reid Genauer; it is a "collision" of elements that will bring his personal and professional life together in a unique, unprecedented way.
Genauer grew up in Chappaqua and now lives in Rye. He founded his band Strangefolk, a rock, jam band with folksy harmonizing, in 1991 with four friends while they attended the University of Vermont.
Not only did Strangefolk become good friends withwho opened and ran New York City’s Wetlands venue while the band built their fan base and rose to popularity in the 90s; but Strangefolk was one of the last bands to play at The Cap in 1998 and Shapiro was there for that show. About a year ago Shapiro called all the band members to propose a reunion at his new theater and they all said yes, Genauer said.
“We’ve had sort of adjacent lives since the beginning of this tale,” Genauer said of Shapiro. “It is a particularly poignant night I think.”
Strangefolk rose to fame throughout the 90s and went separate ways in 2000, after its annual Garden of Eden Festival. Two years later Reid formed his subsequent band, Assembly of Dust. Bandmates Jon Trafton, Erik Glockler, and Luke Smith, also went their own ways but stayed involved with music.
The first reunion show since they had last formally played on stage together in 2000, ended up happening in the band’s origin state of Vermont in March of this year, as The Cap took longer to open than they had anticipated. But now, on Nov. 23 and 24, Strangefolk will play like its 1998 in what is now their friend’s “psychedelic rock palace.”
He will be surrounded by cutting edge light and sound technology, in one of the country’s leading music venues, located in the same town where he drives his kids to soccer practice and play dates-a situation that resonates with him.
“The fact that I live here – it is a cool collision of two distinct parts in my life,” Genauer said. “It’s novel. Usually I’m going off to a far away place and it’s kind of a mystery to my kids.”
Genauer admits that he feels the typical anxiety and nerves heading into the show but is confident they will deliver a strong reunion for their dedicated fans, which he describes an “authentic and organic connection to.”
Genauer describes Strangefolk as “strange folk quiet literally,” with a distinctive blend of both rock and psychedelic music. Genauer, who plays rhythm guitar, the bassist (Erik Glockler) and other guitarist (Jon Trafton) all sing to create three-part harmonies that few other bands offer.
“Jon has a very distinct and unique voice on the guitar and we all support him as a band. And the fact we all learned how to play music together is relevant because I think there is a chemistry that’s hard for any one of us to replicate without the others because we were all so codependent.”
Genauer speaks of the theater’s technology and history with a reverence.
“There are very few like it and what makes it so unusual is it is almost like festival sound and light production, which has become much more sophisticated in the last decade and tends to be a big part of the experience. And it is particularly gracefully integrated into this old room and brought into the 21st century with a bang.”
Living in Rye, Genauer has already had the opportunity to experience the renovated theater and honored to follow Phil Lesh and Friends on stage. He attended the Lesh shows last Friday and Sunday.
“Music is like so many art forms, built on the shoulders of people who come before you. And there is always something rewarding about touching your music lineage..whether in most cases it’s individuals, whether its playing with Phil Lesh or meeting David Crosby…these are guys who drove whole generation of musicians. And The Cap happens to have this sort of iconic heart beat at the center of all that.
It is like walking in the footsteps of your musical fore fathers. Having Phil Lesh here last weekend it is literally like walking in the footsteps,” Genauer said.
The reunion extends beyond the stage this holiday weekend as well.
“We are doing a Strangefolk Thanksgiving, like Charlie brown Christmas. We all have family and kids and in some cases parents…It will be like a rock and roll Thanksgiving at my house or somewhere locally. Cornerstone is catering it and it should be a hoot,” Genauer said.
About 20 adults will gather to reunite while their 10 kids meet each other for the first time.
Will the kids form a Strangefolk Two?
“We have lots of musical gear around,” Genaur said of he and his wife’s home. They have three boys ages six, four and one. He added that they also expose the boys to athletic equipment, happy to let them chose their passion on their own.
“There’s always some sort of barbaric jam going on in basement. Hopefully some day it takes shape and is less barbaric and more music,” Genauer said.
Buy tickets to the Strangefolk Reunion on Nov. 23 and 24 at The Capitol Theatre website. Check out their music here. You can also find Strangefolk on Facebook and Twitter. (While you are there, find Port Chester Patch on Facebook and Twitter too!)