- Sat, Dec 8, 2018 at 8pm
- Nathan Rogers
The Small Glories
The New Customs
Jeremy Hamm & Jess Reimer
The New Westernaires
- West End Cultural Centre
- 586 Ellice Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
- Advance Cost
- Door Cost
"At Last, I'm Ready For Christmas!" - A Duo-over Stan Rogers Christmas presented by the West End Cultural Centre
Performers this evening include…
Jeremy Hamm & Jess Reimer
and featuring the New Westernaires as the house band
A child of Maritime stock on both sides of his family, Stan Rogers was born in Hamilton, Ont. on November 29, 1949. He grew to be a big man-six feet four-built like a fire truck, and possessed of a voice that rumbled from his toes. He could bluff and bellow yet was at heart a poet and intellect who would, often as not, sneak away from a gathering to curl up with a book. He made friends and enemies easily, gaining the former for life and often, in time, converting the latter.
He became a songwriter too, working as a rock bassist while still a teenager and later embracing the folk idiom. After a few years as a more-or-less conventional folkie songwriter, he discovered his real gift. After some persuasion by his Aunt June in Canso Nova Scotia, he began to write songs about his familial home…his roots. Those early songs found their way on to Stan’s first album, Fogarty’s Cove, and he was on his way. From that point forward, Stan’s best writing was about the Canadian experience. His songs gave a new voice to ordinary folks who worked the fisheries, mines and farms of this vast country.
Stan was a passionate Canadian partisan, and much of his short creative life was taken up with song cycles that chronicled the East, the Plains, the West and finally the Great Lakes and Ontario. It was a natural progression for a wanderer…to scan a continent and finally return to write of the wonders of home. He was always on the road pursuing his dream of establishing a national identity for Canadian songwriting. It was a dream fulfilled; through his constant soaring, dynamic performances, and brilliant songs, he was known throughout most of the English-speaking folk music world.
Stan died in a fire on Air Canada flight 797 at Cincinnati, Ohio airport on June 2nd, 1983. He was returning from a folk festival in Kerrville, Texas. Memorials and honours were numerous in the months that followed and in May, 1984 he was posthumously awarded the Diplôme d’Honneur by the Canadian Conference of the Arts.
His music continues to amaze, amuse and inspire people from all walks of life. It has appeared in several poetry anthologies, been used in films, plays and musicals, and has been referred to as “one of the touchstones of modern Canadian history.”
Some say he was born into it, some that he was born with it, while others claim he has earned it. With one foot planted firmly in folk music’s traditional roots and the other reaching into its dynamic future, Nathan Rogers isn’t entirely sure what ‘it’ is; singer, songwriter, guitarist, throat-chanter, percussionist, revivalist, or innovator. Whatever it may be, “Nathan has the ability to turn the folk world on its ears.”
Like many, it all started at home but what a unique home it was. Nathan’s first experience picking up the guitar was an attempt to copy the challenging riffs his brother David created after studying with celebrated virtuosos Don Ross and Preston Reed. His sister Beth demanded perfection in all vocals as any self-exacting classical voice teacher would, while his mother initiated him into the business side of the music industry. His father and uncle informed both his writing style and an ethos of Canadian people that shines in his lyrics.
While others were hiding their braces behind their hands, Nathan was already up high on stages of all sorts. In winter, he traveled with and won solo vocal awards as part of the Appleby Boys Choir. Summers were saved for his first love – appearances at folk festivals and the opportunity to meet, perform with and learn from outstanding musicians. Before he even had an album in hand, Nathan’s reputed vocal ability had him singing on stage with such notables as JP Cormier, The Oysterband, Spirit of the West, John Cameron, Connie Caldor and James Keelaghan.
With a degree in comparative religion, an award winning voice and two prized Laskin guitars under his belt, Nathan founded his own record label, Halfway Cove Music. In 2005 he finally released his debut album, True Stories. Produced by Rick Fenton (former AD of Winnipeg Folk Festival), distributed by Festival and studded with such outstanding roots musicians as Nikki Mehta, JP Cormier, and Murray Pulver, True Stories was met with critical acclaim both at home and abroad. If multiple encores at every show are any indication, Canadian audiences coast-to-coast seem to like it too.
Nathan’s performance style leaves the audiences wondering where the rest of the band is hiding. Singing, chanting, playing the guitar and stomping, he fills any stage with “magnificent powerfully clear lyrics and arrangements.” Described as ‘intelligent and witty’, Nathan will ‘move men and women to tears with his sound and conviction.”
Nathan continues to earn his place in the Canadian folk and blues canon. As Fenton noted, “I have never seen any musician Nathan’s age who works so hard on his singing and guitar playing.”
Oh My Love by The Small Glories
Chasing Light by The New Customs
"Had I Paid" by The Small Glories