Train-Hopping Band Resonates

Menomonie native Keith Smith returns with his band

Rebecca Kilde

The Mabel Tainter’s little jewel box theater has hosted some real performance gems, so it’s especially fun when a local boy brings his dynamic and talented band back for a visit. I first heard Keith Smith and Sparrow, his fiancée and band co-leader, at a house party last year, and I loved their music. On June 12, they’ll be back with the full Resonant Rogues lineup on their Ride the Rust Belt tour of the Midwest and Northeast. “I grew up in Menomonie,” Keith said, “so I have many fond memories of seeing shows at the Tainter. I’ve been excited about the idea of bringing a band to play in that beautiful space since I was a kid.” The Resonant Rogues, based in Asheville, N.C., are a hard band to peg to a genre. Their original songs pull influences from gypsy swing, early New Orleans jazz, Appalachian old-time music, and eastern European folk. Sparrow plays accordion and banjo, Keith plays guitar and suitcase, and they’re joined by Drayton Aldridge on fiddle and Craig Sandberg on upright bass. “We’ve played over 400 shows in 12 countries in our first three years, and I feel like we’re just getting started,” Keith said. They’ll be sharing the stage with some old friends. Keith used to play in a band with Benjamin Tod and Ashley Mae, now the Nashville-based Lost Dog Street Band. Along with Menomonie-raised siblings Jason and Nora O’Dea, they formed Barefoot Surrender in Nashville in 2010. “We were all between the ripe ages of 18 and 21, and we traveled the U.S. by freight train and hitchhiking while street performing and doing gigs along the way.” They all went on to pursue individual projects, so “it’s been great to do a run of shows with Ben and Ashley; they are family.” Keith said. Although The Show Tuners had to bow out, another band might be added to the line-up. I’ll meet you there to find out.

Resonant Rogues & The Lost Dog Street Band • June 12 • Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts, 205 Main St. E, Menomonie • 7pm • $15 • (715) 235-0001 • mabeltainter.org

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