Trail Mix – The Resonant Rogues

The Resonant Rogues – guitarist Kevin Smith and banjoist/accordionist Sparrow – hopscotch around the world for inspiration on Autumn of the World, the band’s latest record.

Recorded in the hometown confines of Asheville’s Echo Mountain Recording Studio, this new record adeptly combines the disparate sounds that become part and parcel to the Rogues’ collective.

While the music is distinctly Appalachian in flavor, there are obvious undertones drawn from the world over; jazz, both gypsy and New Orleans, and pedal steel and fiddle from mountain country create a rich, wondrous collection of songs.

I recently caught up with Sparrow to chat about the new record, literary rogues, and the benefit of taking time to just walk in the woods.

BRO – Your inspiration draws from musical styles the world over. While delving into all of this music, is there a common thread you find running through them all?

SP – Folk music from all over the world speaks to our shared humanity – lyrics about having crushes, working hard to feed your family, losing someone you love, and the beauty of nature are all common themes.

BRO – Love the record title. For you, does autumn suggest a beginning or an end?

SP – Neither and both. Autumn is part of a cycle. It tends to be a time of hard work and harvest, preparation for the cold months to come. Every season has its own beauty and hardships. Autumn is my favorite season. It has a beautiful melancholy to it.

BRO – We are featuring “Big Ivy” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?

SP – I went on a short songwriting retreat a couple of years ago at Mountain Light Sanctuary and this song got stuck in my head on the way out there. I finished it within twenty-four hours. Big Ivy is one of my favorite areas of Pisgah National Forest. I’m a mother and a partner as well as being a performer, and it is really important to take some occasional time for myself. Going to the woods is one of my favorite ways to get away and regroup.

BRO – Best part about recording at Echo Mountain?

SP – It’s hard to pick the best part. It’s such a wonderful experience all around. Great gear, space, and atmosphere, but my favorite part of recording there is the people. They are so knowledgeable and supportive.

BRO – If you could trade places with any literary rogue for a day, who would it be?

SP – The first one that comes to mind is Anais Nin. Though I don’t know if I’d want to because I don’t care for her husband, Henry Miller. Yuck! Ha!. Do you mean author or character? Usually any interesting story involves a fair bit of hardship. I think we’ll just write our own book. I wouldn’t trade our life for any other.

Hometown fans are going to have to wait a while to catch The Resonant Rogues on stage. The band just wrapped up a tour of Alaska and, early next month, heads over to the UK for a bunch of shows that span most of July.

For more information on The Resonant Rogues, when they will take to a stage near you, or how you can grab a copy of Autumn of the World, be sure to check out the band’s website.

And be sure to listen to “Big Ivy,” along with brand new tunes from Mindi Abair & The Boneshakers, Griffin House, Ciaran Lavery, and many, many more on this month’s Trail Mix.

Places to Go, Things to See: