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The Resonant Rogues The Resonant Rogues
Album: Hands In The Dirt
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 12

The Resonant Roques have their roots in North Carolina but they take their influences from all around the world and this is a wonderful album of up-to-the minute Americana.

The opening track is a fiddle and banjo blast, then there's the bass driven jazz driven of Foggy Day and the do-wop saxophone swing of Am I Right.

The songwriting duo of Sparrow (vocals, accordion, banjo) and Keith Smith (vocals, guitar, banjo) anchor the band and here they are joined by Drayton Aldridge (violin, harmonies), Craig Sandberg ( upright bass, harmonies) and Mattick Frick (drums).

I loved the versatility of this band, switching from genre to genre, in fact it is all one marvellous stew of styles and very enjoyable for all that.

The violin is to the fore on Long Way to Galway, and on the title track, a gospel-tinged sparse arrangement extols the joys of gardening, and then there's unashamed country slow burner of Sing A Melody.

Trevor Bought A House has definite middle eastern flavours but one of the best songs to be found here is left to last. Can't Come In is a protest-fuelled song which features Basher Balleh, a Syrian refugee musician, and takes a good poke at the current US immigration policy. Yes this a band who play quite lovely but whose lyrics tackle thorny subjects and refuse to shy away from the painful present.

If you love Americana music then this is one most definitely for you.


John Knighton