Nathan Rogers
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Nathan Rogers


Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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"Penguin Eggs Interview"

His family casts long shadows across this country. And so it took Nathan Rogers several years of serious contemplation to find the confidence and commitment to make his own music. The 24-year-old son of Stan Rogers, and nephew of Garnet, finally recorded his debut, True Stories, this spring.
By Roddy Campbell

Songwriting most certainly runs in the Rogers' family genes. True Stories contains plenty of evidence to suggest an emerging talent clearly on the high road to notoriety. Like his father before him, Nathan nurtures a deep-rooted respect for traditional folk music. And yet he has enough savvy to infuse the traditional aspects of his recording with fresh and invigorating ideas; a blustery updated version of Duncan and Brady, a clear case in point. Not only has hew given the lyrics a contemporary spin but fused the original melody to the old-time banjo tune, Needle Case.

"That tune is probably a 150 years old," says Rogers. "The first recordings of it are by people like Doc Watson and Clarence Ashley. One of the best recordings is by Mike Seeger on a four-string banjo playing three-finger style. Here we have it on claw-hammer and fiddle. It's almost the same tune but with subtle variations. If Mike Seeger were to listen to Duncan and Brady and have the instrumental come up, he would go, 'Oh, there's Needle Case.' We have been honest enough about the tradition but we've put a little spin on it. The feel of the tradition, to me, harkens us back to another time and so it becomes timeless."

Rogers' equally impressive lyrics also occasionally draw from the past. For instance, the wonderfully evocative, Mary's Child was inspired by the profound social impact of the Jesuit priests who initially arrived in Upper Canada with religion and comfort for the Huron but instead carried more diseases to native villages already rife with smallpox and influenza. Obviously an emotional tale, it's told with a great deal of dignity from the point of view of a Christian brother sympathetic to the Huron.

"In a place called Ste-Marie, amongst the Huron, that's where the story's based. I actually visited there when I was 12 years old. The European fur traders, who preceded the Jesuits, brought the first diseases. The Jesuit priests went out there with genuinely good intentions. They went, 'Oh, look at the terrible conditions! These people need out help. We're sticking around,' not realizing their presence was the final nail in the coffin. It was a very sad situation."

Just as enthralling is Hibbing, Rogers' insightful portrait of the northern Minnesota town with its massive, environmental sores of open pit, iron ore mines. Its genesis evolved from a conversation with Mitch Podolak, founder of the Winnipeg and Vancouver folk festivals.

"The first Greyhound bus terminal was in Hibbing. It was a huge huge mining area at one time. Tons and tons of the raw material used to make warships for the US navy came out of that pit. There was a huge unionist movement there at one time. Mitch and I were discussing that. So I went home and I picked up my 12-string and wrote about 80 per cent of it within 20 minutes. It came very, very quickly."

And nary a mention of Robert Allen Zimmerman who, as everybody knows, grew up in Hibbing before leaving for the University of Minnesota in the fall of 1959. Still, there's an enterprising spirit abroad on True Stories that stretches from the subtle social commentary of Hold the Line to the riveting, yet bizarre, almost X-Files malarkey of Spark of Life. Melodically, too, it ventures far afield from the East-Indian strings on Kill Your TV to the country blues of Pack Horse Blues. Surprisingly enough, for someone largely reared on the folk tradition, acoustic blues make several appearances on True Stories.

"I have been listening to a lot of Robert Johnson for the last couple of years. I've always liked the blues, especially Delta. Things like that did creep into this album and that is something that surprised me. When I had the tunes all lined up, I went, 'Jeez, there's three or four tunes that are really explicitly blues.'

"Garnet got me hooked on that kind of stuff. Uncle Gar' plays National Steel guitars and he plays old Gibsons and things like that. I really get a kick out of the sound he produces in his shows. So I went and investigated it and that's what I found."

While Uncle Gar' was asked to contribute fiddle to his nephew's recording, he graciously declined. J.P. Cormier and Richard Moody [and Dale Brown] took his place. Garnet, concedes Nathan, has been very generous with his advice and support. And his presence looms large on what surely must rate as the highlight of True Stories: Three Fishers - a beautifully moving tale of tragedy at sea. While written by English author Charles Kingsley (1819-1875), probably best known for the children's classic, The Water Babies, Garnet set The Three Fishers to music and Stan recorded it on For the Family. Nathan's casual but compelling delivery has every bit as much impact as his old man's.

"It is an exceedingly powerful song. 'Men must work and women must weep,' isn't exactly how I feel. I don't feel the gender boundaries have to divide our labour. But I do have a certain respect for the fishing culture and that is where the nod is really aimed. It's for the people of Canso (N.S.). There are beautiful people down there."

Nathan Rogers was just a tot when he lost his father in a tragic airplane fire in 1983. But he grew up in Hamilton, Ont., with his mother, Ariel. And when he turned 18, he left Ontario for Manitoba and a job with Mitch Podolak. Understandably, it took Nathan until adulthood to come to terms with being the son of a Canadian folk icon.

"That has been a long-time search, coming to terms with Stan's and Garnet's fame and acclaim. It's probably the fundamental formative thing that I had to get through, in terms of my music, and in terms of my life."

And when he turned 20, Ariel went to celebrated Toronto guitar maker Grit Laskin and ordered a six- and a twelve-string guitar for Nathan. Grit had made Stan's guitars as well as his long-necked mandolin.

"They are two of the, uhh . . . I'm getting a little choked up here. They are two of the most wonderful gifts I have ever received, very, very kind. The guitars themselves, their combined value is somewhere in the neighbourhood of $20,000 Canadian. Mom really decided that if I was going to do this, I had to have the best materials. And I really wanted those guitars, too. Those are awesome guitars."

With True Stories set for release in late June or early July, Rogers hopes to build enough momentum over the rest of the year to carry him into the folk festival circuit next summer. And while he concedes his heritage creates a certain amount of curiosity, it has its drawbacks, too.

"Being Stan's kid is a double-edged sword. Invariably people go, 'Nathan Rogers, is that Stan's kid?' And very often that will get me in the door. But When I get in there, there is more expected of me than there might be of somebody else because of the fact that I am Stan's kid. Sometimes people expect Stan Jr. I'm sorry . . . I'm just here to make my music. I genuinely love being on stage. I hate being in a crowd; I love being in front of a crowd."
- Roddy Campbell

"Uptown Magazine"

Uptown Magazine - Winnipeg's Source for Arts, Entertainment and News

Review by John Kendle

Nathan Rogers (Halfway Cove)
True Stories B+

He’s the son of the late, great Stan Rogers and he sounds like his old man and his uncle, Garnet. He likes to sing story songs and rugged ballads, just as his dad did and his uncle does. But make no mistake; Nathan Rogers is his own man. At 25, the Winnipeg-based singer/songwriter has faced enough in his life to be able to approach both his music and his songwriting with tenacity that comes from within. The genetic traits help, certainly, but this album is all Nathan — a rollicking yet earnest 39-minute outing that encompasses keening arrangements, quiet reflection and angry anti-consumer rants all at once. If anything, some fans will be drawn to this disc by the family connection. They’ll stay because of songs such as Hibbing, a wistful ode to Bob Dylan’s hometown; The Ballad of William and John Gibson, a fiddle-propelled reel about alien abduction in the Prairies; or the visceral power of Kill Your TV, an angry observational anthem for Nathan’s generation (which is that of the G7 Welcoming Committee and of riots in Quebec City). As Rogers grows and develops as a writer and performer, he will move men and women to tears with his sound and his conviction. That will be a true story, too.

- JK (John Kendle)
- John Kendle

"CD Release Review"

Beer for Breakfast November 19, 2004

Article by Broose Tulloch

I've never seen Nathan Rogers nervous before last night. It's understandable, releasing your debut CD to a crowd that includes Rick Fenton, Lloyd Peterson, Mitch Podoluk, Johnny Marlow, and Kevin Walters to name a few. I can't say that I was a pillar of strength either, and all I had to do was emcee. With few such opportunities arising to get the attention of those that can provide more opportunities, the pressure's on. But 15 seconds later, it was all about the music. It was eerie just how much Nathan and sidekick, fiddler/multi-instrumentalist Dale Brown reminded me of Stan and Garnet Rogers, except for the stature thing. Nathan and Dale are somewhat shorter, but just as follicly-challenged and bearded, and they were meant to play together. Last minute arrangements, some right on stage were no problem. Mark my words, one day a thousand people will lay claim to being at this show. One minute, you are enveloped in a wall of sound too lush and thick to come from a duo, and the next be hushed by the delicate melodies. Nathan's voice is aging like fine wine, inching closer to his father's rich baritone. All I can really say is that Nathan Rogers and Dale Brown do more than play songs and tell stories for you, they provide you with an experience you'll never forget. You may not understand nor be able to articulate it, but you will know just how deeply their music has affected you. They have the potential to turn the folk world on it's ears.
- Broose Tulloch

"Acoustic Routes Nelson: New Zealand"

Acoustic Routes Nelson (New Zealand)

June 2005 Newsletter

Article by Jenni Komarovsky

I love to set tuneful traps and pose musical quizzes for friends and family, and I was delighted with the results of my most recent one; I played each of my family members a track from Nathan Rogers’ debut album, asking “Who is this?” Reply 1: “Oh HIM again.” Reply 2: “That Canadian fella you’ve been obsessed with for the past two years.” Reply 3: “Stan Rogers of course.” And then I sat and waited for the certainty to waver and the brows to furrow: “No hang on, perhaps not...” Gotcha! Nathan Rogers does sound more than a little like his old man, and his first album shows huge promise for the future. He’s a strong guitarist with a big voice and the album has a nice variety of songs, all except one self-penned. These range in style from folky and lyrical (Mary’s child, Hibbing, The rising tide) through bluesy (Packhorse Blues, Can’t sit still) and rocking (Tuesday morning). Toe-tappers are The ballad of William and John Gibson and the traditional Ballad of Duncan & Brady. A couple of protest songs (Hold the line, Kill your TV) add some energy. There’s also a sensitive version of Three fishers (words by Charles Kingsley, music by Garnet Rogers) which I actually prefer to Stan’s recording – from this obsessive Stan fan, that’s something! And each of them tells a good story (which of course is the main requirement for a folk song – all discussion and argument to be taken off list please). As well as talent, Nathan has been blessed with strong backing musicians – fabulous fiddling! – and backing vocalist Nicky Mehta, whose contributions lift the recordings from good to great – her voice complements his and blends beautifully. Criticisms – Nathan’s lyrics sometimes “tear and strain to rhyme”; I think time and experience will hone his craft. And please, realise that people over 40 like to read the album covers too, could we have a READABLE FONT? Nathan’s naked rear view, while very pretty, also didn’t seem to add much to the album cover, I bought it for the ear candy and not for the eye candy.
- Jenni Komarovsky

"Eclectic Mix at Folk Concert"

Folk Under the Clock Saturday night gave Peterborough the opportunity to see an eclectic mix of folk singers from the Canadian stage, presenting Ember Swift with guest set by Nathan Rogers.
Winnipeg-based Rogers (son of Canadian Folk icon the late Stan Rogers) filled the stage with acoustic brilliance. It is safe to say that regardless of the family tree, Nathan stands on his own with his brand of fusion folk. His performance at the Market Hall was intelligent and witty – his surprisingly self-deprecating
humour is ill-matched to the magnificent powerfully clear lyrics and instrumentals that filled the stage. With great ease he seemed to effortlessly entertain and delight the audience with songs from his first CD True Stories.
Mary’s Child, a ballad with impressive lyrics, was inspired by the historical impact of the Jesuit priests who with all good intentions of bringing Christianity to the Huron Indians, also brought small pox. Not the most upbeat
song I have heard but it was performed with great dignity from the point of view of a Christian brother sympathetic to the Huron; and the audience was really graced with Nathan’s powerful vocal range.
Hibbing, another one of Nathan’s songs grounded in folk, paints a picture of the northern Minnesota mining town where the first Greyhound bus terminal was located, really showcased his talents.
As he introduced the song in his banter to the audience he said, “Now, I have never been to Hibbing Minn.. But my Dad had never traveled The Northwest Passage either!” And later in his set he did indeed treat us with his
father’s ‘alternate’ national anthem, Northwest Passage. His songs spanned from tradition folk to Tibetan throat chanting . . .
In the 20th anniversary of Folk Under the Clock, artistic director Mike Barker continues to deliver a line-up of professional talent to our city in a beautiful setting at an affordable price. - The Peterborough Examiner

"The Winnipeg Free Press/National Post"

Article by Bartley Kives

New Winnipeg singer-songwriter Nathan Rogers is stepping out of the shadows of his legendary Canadian musician father Stan with an album of his own.

NATHAN Rogers was four when his father died on an airplane. It wasn’t a crash, but a fire that began in a washroom and spread throughout the cabin of an Air Canada flight from Texas. By the time the plane was forced to land in Cincinnati, 23 people were dead from smoke inhalation, including Nathan’s dad, the folksinger Stan Rogers, one of the greatest Canadian musicians of the 20th century.

You can see a lot of Stan in Nathan Rogers, now 25 and living in Winnipeg. Nathan has the same bright eyes, male-pattern baldness and a voice worthy of comparison to his father and his uncle, Garnet Rogers. The son knows the resemblance will be noted. When he picks up the guitar, he becomes the Canadian folk equivalent of a Julian Lennon, Adam Cohen or Jakob Dylan. But after resisting the family business for most of his young adulthood, Nathan Rogers is stepping out with an album of his own, True Stories, recorded in his adopted home of Winnipeg earlier this year.

“I’ve been trying to be very careful about how quickly I jump into the music business, and more importantly, that I do it for the right reasons,” says Rogers, sitting in a Wolseley-area apartment he’ll soon vacate for a home just down the street from fellow Winnipeg folksinger James Keelaghan. “The biggest difficulty was deciding for myself this is what I wanted. Having done that, I’m OK with it.”

Nathan Rogers is a slender, animated man who speaks quickly but in long, measured bursts. His nearly bald head is framed by a short, pointy goatee, three metal hoops in one ear and a thick metal bar in the other. His body, which appears [partially] nude inside the jewel box for True Stories, is decorated with religious and spiritual imagery. A map of North and South America with creation myths from both continents reaches down from his right arm. On his back is a five-pointed star — not a pentagram, but a symbol from The Necronomicon, the ancient Sumerian book of the dead.

“I’m one of the only people you’ll ever meet who is an active practitioner and initiate priest of the Sumerian religion,” he says, referring the oldest religion known to recorded history. “They had some very strange beliefs,” he says of the ancient Mesopotamians. “The forces at work in The Necronomicon make Satan look like a wussy kid down the block with tape on his glasses.”

Rogers’ interest is no adolescent obsession. After moving to Winnipeg in 1998 — at the behest of Winnipeg Folk Festival founder Mitch Podolak, a close friend of Stan Rogers — he studied at the University of Winnipeg and completed a degree in comparative religion. But he has no plans to carry his academic career further. Over the past two years, he’s narrowed his focus to the music he first encountered growing up in the Hamilton suburb of Dundas.

Recorded earlier this year with producer Rick Fenton, another former Winnipeg Folk Festival artistic director, True Stories does not attempt to revive the traditionalism of Stan Rogers. It’s a contemporary folk album with a handful of historical songs (most notably Mary’s Child, which deals with forced conversions in early Canada) a little fantasy (The Ballad of William and John Gibson, an alien-abduction tale set in 1910 Saskatchewan) and one Chomskyist rant (the self-explanatory Kill Your TV).

. . . “I like telling stories and I really feel I have to make a contribution to folk music. I just had to make sure my delivery was not old school and there was something fresh about it. “Folk music becomes redundant when people don’t move it forward in subtle and sensitive ways. But I’m not d@*%$*g with tradition — that’s something else entirely.”

Rogers says he didn’t worry about how much he sounded like his father during the spring recording session. He was more concerned with his arrangements, enlisting the help of Winnipeg folk musicians such as drummer Christian Dugas, bassist Gilles Fournier, singer Nicky Mehta of The Wailin’ Jennys and banjo-picker Leonard Podolak of The Duhks. That said, the vocal similarity between Nathan and Stan jumps out when you hear True Stories.

“There’s a family tonality because of the genetic thing. Vocal cords, after all, are strings of muscle,” says producer Fenton, who worked with the elder Rogers during his days as a CBC Radio engineer. “I think Nathan has come to terms with who he is and where he’s going to be in the industry. He’s a very hard worker. I’ve never seen any musician his age work so hard on his songwriting and guitar-playing.”

Keelaghan believes Rogers has a “lot of latent talent and a lot of possibilities.” The veteran folksinger, who relocated to Winnipeg from Calgary four years ago, notes it’s much more difficult to be a singer-songwriter today than it was 10 or 15 years ago. “It’s a lonely road.” But Rogers has the energy to do the job, he says. “I think he has quite a future ahead of him.” Nathan Rogers isn’t alone carrying on the family name. His uncle Garnet is an established folksinger. His brother Dave puts out music in Ontario. His mother Ariel runs Fogarty’s Cove, the record label that releases most of the family’s music, (except Nathan’s debut, which is out on his own Halfway Cove label and distributed by Festival).

. . . Nathan Rogers speaks glowingly about the friends he’s made in Winnipeg. He showers praise on local folk musicians like Dan Frechette, Dave Quanbury and Alana Levandoski. “We’re putting Winnipeg on the map and I’m really proud of that — I’m proud of myself for coming here and it’s a great place to live,” he beams. “It’s nice to be in a town where pretension is not rewarded. I have certain pretences myself, but I like to think I don’t make any fancy bones about what I do. I’m just trying to be as honest as possible.

“This is going to sound a little airy-fairy, but I want to make a contribution to the folk tradition.” - Bartley Kives

"Dirty Linen Album Review"

The son of legendary Canadian folk singer Stan Rogers, Nathan Rogers is bound to draw interest. Fortunately, as a singer and performer, talent is hereditary. On this debut CD, Rogers melds traditional and original tunes that range in style from folk to blues to country to rock. He sings with the anger of Phil Ochs and a storytelling knack that emanates from his roots. His songs delve into Canadian life, the struggles of the working man in ‘Hibbing’ or the impact of the missionaries on the Huron people of Ste. Marie in ‘Mary’s Child’. Aside from his late father’s hairline, the younger Rogers’ inherited baritone growls with a timbre eerily reminiscent of his father’s. But even with almost a dozen musicians, Rogers’ voice and songs are at the forefront, and this delightful CD shows he has a promising future. - Dirty Linen, APril/May 2006

"Performance Review, Jan 2006"

Performance Review by Robert Reid
Famous dad aside, Nathan Rogers is a folk force on his own

The resemblance is unmistakable: The same hairline and solid build. The same political edge, satirical bite, lightning wit and contempt for fools. The same vocal timbre that provides a bed for a rich baritone. The same way with words and melody. And yet, significantly, Nathan Rogers is very much his own artist, despite the similarities with his dad -- the late, great Stan Rogers.

Rogers, who has made Winnipeg his home for the past eight years after being born and raised in Hamilton, stood his own ground Thursday when he made his Waterloo Region debut at the Circus Room in Kitchener. He was grateful to have made the gig, explaining that he had rolled his minivan before crossing the Manitoba border. Equipped with six- and 12-string acoustic guitars and working up a good sweat, Rogers placed himself at the intersection of past and present with two sets of high-octane contemporary folk music. He drew generously from his impressive debut album, True Stories.

Rogers opened with The Ballad of Duncan and Brady, a revisionist take on a 120-year-old American folk song. His offering of Three Fishers, with words by Charles Kingsley and music by Garnet Rogers, his uncle, recalled his dad's moving maritime ballads.

He confirmed his talent as a songwriter with a handful of originals including Mary's Child, a chronicle of the clash between native and European; Hibbing, a tribute to Bob Dylan's birthplace; Tuesday Morning, a tribute to New York firefighters following 9/11; Hold the Line, about soldiers in the First World War; The Ballad of William & Gibson, a sci-fi folk song set on the bald Saskatchewan prairie; Kill Your TV, a Chomskyist rant; and a couple of somebody-done-somebody-wrong songs, The Packhorse Blues and Can't Sit Still.

Rogers also paid his respects with covers of mentors Gordon Lightfoot (Canadian Railroad Trilogy); Bill Bourne (including Moonlight Dancers); and Garnet Rogers (Underpass); not to mention a trio penned by his dad including Northwest Passage, a song voted Canada's unofficial national anthem in a poll conducted by the late Peter Gzowski.

It was interesting to hear Rogers press his own stamp on these familiar songs by underscoring their social content through sheer vocal intensity and passion. He also did a couple of a cappella rounds (again a reminder of lineage) and a couple of traditional folk songs (including There's Whiskey in the Jar). He even did a little Himalayan throat-singing.

It's not easy making your way as an artist in the shadow of someone who made the journey before you. And no one casts a longer shadow in Canadian acoustic roots music than Stan Rogers. Nathan Rogers seems to have the right stuff to light his way along a road of his own choosing. After all, it's a journey his uncle has made with distinction.
- The Kitchener Record, Article by Robert Reid

"The Peterborough Examiner, Feb 2006"

Nathan Rogers at Folk Under the Clock
Opening for Ember Swift

The legend continues with Nathan Rogers.

The son of the late folksinger Stan Rogers and nephew of folksinger Garnet Rogers, the latest Rogers to take up folk music is also becoming known for his singing voice, his songwriting, playing many instruments and “telling outrageously funny stories.” Rogers will be performing at Folk Under the Clock on Feb. 11 at the Market Hall, opening for Ember Swift.

“I love Ember. I think she’s a genius,” said Rogers, 26, in a telephone interview from his mother’s home in Hamilton. “To be mentioned on the same card, or be mentioned in the same context is massive. I’m really excited about this show in particular. Ember has totally got her own thing. She’s done her music her way; and people will be coming to hear that. What they’re going to hear out of me, because I only have between 20 minutes or half an hour or so, I’m going to put out the best material that I have in terms of my lyrical value. “

“Lyrically, I’d at least attempt to stand up to somebody who is such a good writer. This, I think, will be an opportunity to see that young people in this country are developing as writers and are very serious, whether or not we’re all that great, are very serious about the craft of writing. And we take it as seriously as other generations. We’re not all boneheads. There are a few of us out here who think and examine.”

While Rogers said he classifies himself as a folk musician, there are other elements that he adds to his music . . . country blues, delta blues, a little rock and roll, folk rock. “I like using delay pedals and stuff like that, so sometimes you get a little extra texture, sounds like maybe a couple of guitars

I don’t know too many people that use an electrified stomp box. I have a box made from a reconditioned wine crate, a piece of particle board, a cupboard top and a cupboard facing. On the inside is a microphone for a kick drum, so it’s all padded. If it’s tuned in right we get this absolutely fat, fat rhythm against what I am doing on the guitar or singing.”

Rogers says recently he’s been working on Thubban-style throat chanting. “It’s similar but a little bit different from native throat chanting. Native North American style is a little more percussive than the Thubban style (style from the Himalayan area of Tibet, Nepal); and it’s characterized by long sonorous drawn-out sections with sort of bird-like variations in pitch.” He also does some improve that involves playing the guitar in four/four time and “stomp nice and heavy and do lots of that throat chanting in a couple of different chord structures.”

Rogers is no stranger to this area, although he hasn’t performed here before. “I’ve been to Peterborough before but only when I was a kid. I grew up in Hamilton but I have relatives in the area, an aunt and uncle, and my grandmother lives in Perth. I have friends in Ottawa and we go out to visit them.”

“Everything I hear about Folk Under the Clock is positive. Garnet loves it. Every time I know about a certain gig, if I ask Garnet, he’s done it before. He gives me a lot of feedback on it.” Through his uncle, he’s heard great things about the series. “If it’s cool for him, and he gives it a thumbs up, I walk in being very, very excited.”

Rogers is based out of Winnipeg, Man., where he went after finishing high school to get work, “stayed to educate myself and continued there for the music scene.”
- Article by Werner Bergen

"FOLKER! Album Review"

Nathan Rogers is a 26 years young, extremely talented musician and songwriter, offering on his debut CD – besides awesome singing – exquisite sleight of hand on the guitar. And WHAT a voice this feller has: a deep baritone with a timbre smooth as velvet. The style of his music is partly based on groovy, acoustic country blues, at other time the music mixes old time fiddle, folk and rock elements. The most moving moments are when Rogers sings softly and bootlicks to a spartanic guitar accompaniment. His songs do have a satirical, political bite; they are to the point and show well forged lyrics of emotional depth, like for example, “Mary’s Child” - an altercation with the consequences of the clash of European and Native American culture when French missionaries brought not only religion, but smallpox as well. Also very well done is the song about New York firefighters (“Tuesday Morning”) and the ballad about hard working people in the iron ore mines of the town of Hibbing.

Maybe the expectations placed on the son of the Canadian folk icon Stan Rogers are extremely high – he fulfils them effortlessly, with his own quality as a first class songwriter and interpreter. - FOLKER! (Germany) Article by Ulrich Joosten


The full length CD, The Gauntlet, is scheduled for release in April, 2009.

The full length CD, TRUE STORIES was released November 2004.

Nathan appears on BEAUTIFUL: A TRIBUTE TO GORDON LIGHTFOOT singing backup vocals with James Keelaghan.

"The Ballad of William and John Gibson" appears on the MARIA Roots Compilation CD 2006



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.” After completing a western Canada tour in 2005, 2006 will find him performing at folk festivals across Canada and venues in the United States. Nathan still finds the time to write and is hard at work on his second album tentatively scheduled for release in 2008.