Ever since the days of Asheville’s own Blue Rags and Chapel Hill’s Squirrel Nut Zippers, 20 years ago, the revival of ragtime/swing, mixed with Southern-style old-time and blues, has risen as regularly in WNC as the fog on the ridgetops.
The newest incarnation of hepcats doing “old-fashioned originals,” as they style it, are the Resonant Rogues, a sometimes two-piece/sometimes quartet led by partners Sparrow and Keith J. Smith. Mixing gypsy-jazz and other Eastern Bloc influences into their milieu, the Rogues also stand out for beautiful harmonies between the two leads.
In a recent No Depression review, Kim Ruehl gushed: “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 … is impressive.”
The Rogues began as street buskers but found themselves catapulted into a higher orbit last year, when they released an album, the appropriately named Here & Gone Again, and racked up gigs across the U.S. and Europe.
Catch Sparrow and Smith at Black Bear Coffee House this week on Friday, February 5, and the full band back at the Bear on March 25. And stay tuned for a feature story on the Rogues in our March print issue.
Black Bear Coffee House, 8-10pm. Free. 318 N. Main St. theresonantrogues.com, 828-692-6333.