28 June 2019 (released)
27 May 2019
Undefinable, but brilliant.
Resonant Rogues create music that crosses all over the place, from Appalachian folk, through Bluegrass, Balkan, Morroccan and even touches of Klezmer and often bringing all the threads together in one tune!
The band is basically Sparrow on lead vocals, accordion & banjo, Keith J Smith on vocals and guitar and Eric Heveron-Smith on upright bass, vocals and trombone but they also bring in Kirsten Harris on fiddle, Daisy Castro on violin, Melissa Ryman on cello, Ben Hovey on trumpey and John James Tourville on pedal steel. All that, put together means that they can change direction on a dime and do so without ever sounding forced or deliberate.
Sparrow’s high-pitched and musical voice takes a little getting used to but after a few minutes she is quite easy on the ear and her accordion playing is far more than the usual squeeze-box renditions.
From the outset there is a sense of confidence on ‘Maker’s Song’ with Sparrow singing of the strength of women and the creative urge while Kevin Smith adds a touch of whimsy on ‘Tramp’ a song that could almost be Paris café qualified, Daisy Castro’s violin a real delight.
‘Duelling With Demons’ is my personal favourite off the album, wonderful depth from trombone and trumpet against accordion and fiddle but ask me again and I might plump for ‘Watching Those Wheels Roll’ or ‘Zeus Faber’ – there isn’t a duff track on the album.
Every now and again I find an album that just amuses and confuses and this one definitely does. The quality of the writing and playing is undeniable and the styles take your mind to many different places. Digging it large time!