On their new album, Hands in the Dirt, The Resonant Rogues bring these stories and influences to the fore, all filtered through a thoroughly contemporary perspective. The title track speaks to a younger generation’s renewed interest in sustainable gardening and agriculture, but pulses like an old country blues song. Opening track “Muddy River,” pulls from the banjo/fiddle pulse of stringband music, but speaks to the ever-increasing speed of change. The song “Am I Right” channels the swing of American doo-wop, blended with New Orleans second- line influences and fueled by the tenor sax of Asheville’s Ben Colvin (and Sparrow’s accordion). To make Hands in the dirt, The Resonant Rogues drew from their rich net- work of musical friends in the progressive Appalachian city of Asheville, North Carolina, like fiddler Drayton Aldridge, bassist Craig Sandberg, pedal steel player Matt Smith, cellist Franklin Keel, and drummer Mattick Frick. However, for their final song on the album, the powerfully moving protest song, “Can’t Come In,” they invited a new friend, Basher Balleh, a Syrian refugee musician and country singer living in Istanbul who plays with the band Country for Syria. The song references classic folk tropes like John Hurt’s “Make Me A Pallet on the Floor” to talk about the current anti-immigration sentiment in the United States. It’s a scary new world today, but The Resonant Rogues make music that refuses to shy away from our current reality. They make music for the people they meet every day who are affected by our current policies, and they make music to take us through these dark times.
“Their intense cohesion is so intertwined that it feels like they’re playing with one pair of hands. Harmonies seem to pour from one set of lungs… Onstage, the fluency they wield for their craft (or, I should say “crafts”) is impressive, in that understated kind of “come close and listen up,” kind of way.” -No Depression
“Young North Carolina group craft theatrical pop thrills from a heady mix of old-time, Balkan and Hot Club Influences. Guaranteed festival club floor-fillers!” -fRoots Magazine
“With plenty here to appeal to a variety of folk based musical tastes while still maintaining core band identity, it bodes well for a very promising future. “-Folk Radio UK
Album one sheet for Hands in the Dirt- The Resonant Rogues