Hands in the Dirt

by The Resonant Rogues

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1.
Muddy River 03:25
Muddy River Muddy river at my feet, carries dirt away Water oer the earth will sweep Changing day by day, changing day by day Curly redhead boy of mine, sure does love to play He will grow and go with time, Changing day by day, changing day by day *Watch it go, now it’s gone Watch it flow on and on Nothing left but a song Watch it go, now it’s gone* Sticks and stones we make our homes of mud and dirt and clay Time will tear them to the ground, Changing day by day, changing day by day All these roads and towers tall were never meant to stay Time will take them one and all, Changing day by day, changing day by day *chorus* Bodies made of blood and bones are standing here today No they ain’t our final homes, Changing day by day, changing day by day Sorrow swirling round the mind, it also cannot stay Joy will come again you’ll find, Changing day by day, changing day by day *chorus*
2.
Foggy Day 03:43
Foggy Day

 Verse-
Spanish moss covered our thoughts 
And the holes in the road represent what was lost
 So take of your kin, your kin will spare you
 And take care of your friends, fate will decide who’s true

 Chorus-
Ooo-ooo-wee this town ain’t what it used to be 
I used to know the faces staring back at me
 It was a foggy day on the levy
 When a wounded girl told her story 

Verse-
When we’re down we take the kitchen sink
 And the whole world is a sponge hanging up to dry
 But all it takes is a little time to think it through 
And there’s no time to wonder the reasons why

 Chorus- x2
Ooo-ooo-wee this town ain’t what it used to be 
I used to know the faces staring back at me 
It was a foggy day on the levy 
When a wounded girl told her story

3.
Am I Right 03:53
Am I Right Well am I right? Am I wrong? To go a singing you this song I loved you once but now the clouds of your distain are plain to see What can I do? What can I say? To let the past lie just where it may oh yes I’m singing a funeral song for our friendship today Oh was I bad? Was I good? Oh did I treat you just like I should? I loved you once, but then I turned my back and walked away What can I do? What can I say? To let the past lie just where it may oh yes I’m singing a funeral song for our friendship today Well I’m afraid what runs in these veins is tainted by the flames of loves and I believe this road that we run is written in the stars above So please believe me when I explain I didn’t mean to cause you no pain and well I hope that you forgive me well before our little lives are done What can I do? What can I say? To let the past lie just where it may oh yes I’m singing a funeral song for our friendship today…….
4.
Long Way to Galway 

Verse-
It’s a long way to Galway when your mind is full of sand 
And where you lay your head is in a strangers open hand
 My sweetheart she’s a traveler but her body craves to be home 
Wandering brings her sorrow when it’s finally time to go 

Chorus-
Oh-oh where to go when you find you’ve had enough
, I don’t know how to rest when I’ve fallen down 

Verse-
My spirit is like this old train, leaving pieces at every stop The journey makes my heart beat but it’s a good home that I’ve got

 Chorus- Oh-oh where to go when you find you’ve had enough
I, I don’t know how to rest when I’ve fallen down

 Verse-
I’ve spent my whole life waiting for this chance to wander and roam
And it’s worth it just to see them green grass hills grow 

Chorus- x2
 Oh-oh where to go when you find you’ve had enough
, I don’t know how to rest when I’ve fallen down


5.
Hands in the Dirt Oh my hands in the dirt, digging beds until it hurts Thats how I’ll spend my mornings by and by Oh there’s tea for my thirst, but I have to finish first Oh, I ain’t getting nowhere less I try *When did I start to crave the feel of soil against the spade it’s real like very few things seem to be to me Oh I’m out here pulling grass and I am focused on my task and I am glad that I am free to be serene* Well a great joy that I know’s planting seeds in little rows Turn my face upon the vast blue sky Well it’s down the road I go, singing songs so soft and low, and the ground will catch the water when I cry *chorus* When we bring the harvest in, aching back and hot as sin Crush the bugs and wipe the dirt from round our eyes Oh I’ll chop and boil and stew, it’s my gift from me to you, oh, to have something in winter from July *chorus*
6.
Sing a Melody It’s been many months since I’ve been lost Trying to find a ghost In my dreams he haunts me Tells me stories of how I used to be Chorus *Oh, where did my days go And oh sing a melody Oh, where did my fear go I guess I was waiting for somebody* An inch worm falls beneath the sun and he knows A life worth living ain’t a life that he can count on So he loosens his grip to soften his fall It’s high and low until the feeling gets too old *Chorus*
7.
Fomo Blues You can’t do everything in life, that’s what people say, You make decisions every night, and every single day You decide how to spend your time, and who you wanna be But when everything sounds so darn fun, well that’s when you start to sing I got the FOMO blues, when I gotta choose I know I oughta stay in, but theres so much to do I oughta stay right here, lying next to you But I wanna go out, I got the FOMO blues. Well there’s dancin, singin, carryin on, We could have a drink or two (or three) We could stay up singin all of the songs Until the night is through (If we make it that far) Well there’s a party hoppin down the street With pals and everything (nssa nssa nnsa) But my bed it sounds so nice and cozy, and that’s when I start to sing
8.
Gotta Get It 03:00
Gotta Get It Oh the heart is a hard hard thing to understand I knew right from the start that I needed you to be my man Who knows why it goes the way that it goes, but I believe that time will surely show that you were meant to hold my hand Oh life is a hard hard thing to understand Our friends they sure didn’t like it when we changed our plans They thought we were just being fools, all drunk in love and breaking rules You’ve got to leap and see who’s still there when you land Chorus- *Because there’s thing you’ve got to do in life, just gotta get it, gotta gotta get it Despite the trouble, toil, and strife just gotta get it, gotta gotta get it If you say you will, don’t mean you might, just gotta get it, gotta gotta get it Oh babe you got me, and by your side I’ll stand* Oh a plan is a hard hard thing to understand We made our choice and now we’ve got to play our hand We’ve walked this road a ragged mile, ain’t nothin left to do but smile, well babe together we gon see this whole damn land…. *chorus*
9.
10.
Another Day 02:49
Another Day The water hits the roof and rolls down to the ground beneath my toes My favorite shoes are full of holes, they let the water in My memory doesn’t serve me well, it casts a melancholy spell In darkness does my spirit dwell, here trapped beneath my skin Oh, another day does dawn Oh, the night still lingers on The mists of morning fall around, the clouds my body do surround The silence amplifies the sound, my beating heart within And though I am behind the times, I’ve learned to read between the lines To sing and speak the silent rhymes, avoid the awful din Oh, another day does dawn Oh, the night still lingers on If I live to see the dawn, another day, a season won We’ll have some of this thing called fun, and let the outside in As the evening sun dips low, I find myself nowhere to go Before me is the open road, I’m trapped by where I’ve been And though I am behind the times, I’ve learned to read between the lines To sing and speak the silent rhymes, avoid the awful din Oh, another day does dawn Oh, the night still lingers on
11.
North Country Time 

It’s been so long since I went home to my family in the winter 
Sometimes you gottta break out of routine to reflect on your dreams
 I spend my life planning on tomorrow without stopping to smell the flowers
I think I’ll grab a bunch of daisies, don’t mind if I do, don’t mind if I do

North country time 
Just watching the snow shine bright from the sky
 Waiting for memories is waiting the same
 And my baby she’ll meet me in caroline 

It took me a while to remember how I had fun as a child 
It takes a willingness to follow someone else’s lead
 We get so set in our ways, we forget that we’re all the same 
Everyone wants a good friend to help show them the way 

North country time
 Just watching the snow shine bright from the sky
 Waiting for memories is waiting the same 
And my baby she’ll meet me in caroline 

It’s been so long since I went home to my family in the winter

12.
Can't Come In Verse- Oh please open up your gates oh neighbor mine Though theres nothin left to give you but this rhyme Ain’t got no place to go, we’re out here wandering in the cold Haven’t got a nickel or a dime Chorus *Oh no you can’t come in. We have only just enough for all our kin Go on and move right along Ain’t got nothin here that’s for you but this song Ain’t got nothin here that’s for you but this song…* Oh please open up your door oh cousin mine Though I’ve nothin left to give you but my time Well the labor of my hands, I will lend to your demands I just need a place to rest for me and mine *chorus* Bashar's verse- بتأمل بالسما بسأل جيراني مين بحمل شنتا فيها تراب لبعيد بروح كل القصة من بيتي انا محروم بتكبر الهموم لما الجرح يهوم ومنتمرجح على امل خبز وملح يدوم Translation- (When war knocks at the door, where can I live? I look at the sky, and I ask who my neighbors are. I carry a suitcase full of dirt, and I go far away. The whole story is I'm deprived of my home. The worries get bigger, when the neighbor betrays. And we swing on the hope that the bread and salt will last) So when someone comes a knockin at your door If they’re tired or they’re hungry or they’re poor, Well you know just what to do, oh what you’d hope they’d do for you, At least lay them down a pallet on your floor… And tell them “Welcome in, We have just more than enough for all our kin. We know your road has been long, So please sit with me and sing your favorite song Oh please sing for me your very favorite song.”

about

American folk music has always had a populist perspective, a vision of music made by the people, for the people. Asheville, North Carolina roots band The Resonant Rogues know this well, for they've traveled the byways and highways of America, even crossed the water to Europe and the Mediterranean with instruments and songs in tow. Anchored by the songwriting duo Sparrow and Keith Smith, the Rogues have shared songs with train-hoppers in New Orleans, busked on the streets of Budapest, learned Turkish Romani dance in Istanbul, and marched in protest in the hills of Appalachia. Throughout, the stories they've heard and the people they've met have fueled their music, which abounds with influences like Eastern European Romani brass bands, New Orleans street jazz, old-time stringbands, Woody Guthrie anti-fascist folk, French jazz manouche, and Middle Eastern rhythms. It's not easy to pull off such a bold combination of genres, but The Resonant Rogues learned this music in person from the people who created it, so they have a tie to each tradition and a working knowledge of what this music means to the ordinary people that make this music every day. It's a tintype view on the modern world,a cracked image that reflects the past through a prism of the future.
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.

credits

released May 12, 2017

Sparrow- vocals, accordion, banjo
Keith J. Smith- vocals, guitar, banjo on track 10
Drayton Aldridge- violin, harmonies
Craig Sandberg- upright bass, harmonies
Mattick Frick- drums
Chuck Lichtenberger- piano on tracks 3 & 11
Matt Smith- pedal steel on track 6
Ben Colvin- tenor saxophone on track 3
Franklin Keel- Cello on Track 2
Bashar Balleh- vocals on track 12

recorded at Echo Mountain Studios
engineered by Josh Blake and Julian Dreyer
mixed by Josh Blake
mastered by John Baldwin
album design and cover art by Sparrow
cover and disc photos by John Gellman
back photo by Michelle Nicolette Kowalski
inside photo by SicImages

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The Resonant Rogues Asheville, North Carolina

The Resonant Rogues are the songwriting soul child of partners Sparrow and Keith J. Smith. With influences ranging from gypsy swing to early New Orleans jazz, and from Appalachian old-time to eastern European folk music, they take their favorite flavors and blend them into a delicious, danceable dish. ... more

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