Stephanie Rogers
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Stephanie Rogers

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF | AFTRA

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF | AFTRA
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter





By LILLI KUZMA Contributor September 15, 2011
It was an album she had wished to make, one with more of a folk vibe. She succeeded.

“This is my third record, and is the most folk-oriented,” said Stephanie Rogers, a Chicago resident commenting on her new release, “Daisy Petal in the Dirt” (Hipchick Records). “I was really looking to have beautiful songs, with tonality, soulful elegant playing, excellent musicianship. My prior CDs were more ‘in the groove’ and ‘rocking out.’?”

With “Daisy Petal in the Dirt,” Rogers delivers soaring vocals and well-crafted songs, stellar musicianship and production.

The music is a rich array of character studies in engaging “story songs,” about a range of humanity, such as a teenage girl with health problems; Rogers’ own decision to leave acting; the “perfect” life of a lonely well-to-do woman; “old men in gray jackets paying their rent.”

Facebook blues

Dealing with Facebook, she tells us: “I must have been crazy to drag my past back to life / until that moment I was feeling well-defined / the pages of history we write and improve with passing time / all our memories grow in size like tangled vines.”

An album replete with stand-outs, it also evokes the attitude and “free spirit” of Rogers, a talented woman who laughs easily and often, and who wants to share her love of life with the world. With “Daisy Petal in the Dirt” Rogers steps into a bright spotlight with mature songs of substance and style.

Compared to her prior recordings, she said, “It’s a beautiful record, and I’m very proud of it. So I’m just going to pretend that this is my first record now! I’m not trying to reinvent popular music. I’m trying to follow a through line for my own voice.”

Rogers performs at a CD release event for “Daisy Petal in the Dirt” Sept. 15, at Mayne Stage in Chicago. She will be joined by a full band and special music guests: Bob Lizik, bass; Jim Hines, drums; Tommy Sanchez, electric guitar, and Danny Shaffer, acoustic guitar; Jennifer Lowe, violin; vocalists and back-up singers include Mike Harvey, Cheryl Wilson, Doopy Lupree, Becka Kaufman, Deb Lader, and Ariana Patterson.

She’s got high hopes for the evening. “I envision it like a story, one big huge story, a real mix, but not just a sonic mix, but also with what I’m saying with the music.”

Bruce Roper will perform a solo acoustic opening set. Roper, a founding member of the acclaimed Sons of the Never Wrong, also recently released a well-received debut solo album, “Accidental English” (Waterbug Records).

“Sons of the Never Wrong is my favorite band of all time,” said Rogers, “and I wished I could make a record like Sons, then realized I could call Bruce Roper! He helped me early on in realizing these songs.”

Mix of songs

An accomplished vocalist and singer-songwriter, Rogers is well known for her eclectic repertoire. She’s described her style as “soulful singing and folk-pop-rocking.”

“Growing up I listened to James Taylor, Ricky Lee Jones, and Joni Mitchell,” she said, noting that recently she’s been into vintage Gladys Knight & the Pips, but also listening to newer acts like folk-rock duo Tegan and Sara, and indie folk-pop band, the Weepies.

Formerly an actress who lived and worked in Los Angeles, Rogers acted in about 50 commercials and had roles in a number of movies.

She sometimes jokes about her part in “Prelude To A Kiss.” “It was a small part, and I can be seen standing behind Alec Baldwin. My mom used to make everybody watch this,” she said, laughing.

A serious health problem brought Rogers back to Chicagoland at age 29. She had thyroid cancer and, a week after her surgery, decided to perform at an open mic. It would prove to be a decision that would change her life and career path.

“It was at The Charleston in Bucktown, and that night the place was packed, and I got hooked on singing. My future husband walked in that night. We even named our son ‘Charlie’ after this venue.”

Stephanie Rogers
Stephanie Rogers CD Release
Opener is Bruce Roper
Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse Ave., Chicago
Doors open 6:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15
$15 general admission; $20 reserved
(773) 381-4554, or
Updated: September 23, 2011 3:32PM
- Pioneer Press/Chicago Sun-Times

"Pioneer Press, Illinois"

"Your New Life"

This 12-song indie gem reflects Rogers' multifaceted approach to her life, and, by close association, her music. Lyrically, the disc touches on matters ranging from love to suicide, with each song offering a glimpse inside the workings of Rogers' intuitive, offbeat, sometimes carefree, often soul-searching mind.

Slickly produced to work the aura of each song, they highlight Rogers' expressive voice. Rogers rocks, mourns, wonders, croons, and then rocks some more. Some of the songs are controlled and neatly packaged, with catchy hooks and hummable chords. Others meander a bit, giving proper breadth to Rogers' raw, uncompromising honesty.

- Mandy Burrell


Stephanie Rogers
Album: Your New Life

Enter: Stephanie Rogers a female artist with a broad
range of mood and focus music, has produced a top notch
album. "Your New Life" Contains songs that fit just
about every mood, every age. Most of all she has sound
that is most listenable with lyrics that truly dig into
the very essence of life's twists and turns. Not over
powering yet powerful!  An artist with a spirit and
classic music style not seen in way too long. With
songs like: "Your New Life" (Title Track). "Run Away"
and "Little Jesus" that finds it's way into a level of
your thoughts that you only reveal in private. This is
the Album you'll be listening to in your car after a
tough day at work..
We rate Stephanie's work as top notch, and with total
relevance and staying power in today's Mtv junk music
minute society.

Ty Wheelis
CEO/Project Manager

- Ty Wheelis

"pioneer Press, Illinois"

Local ladies honor great ladies
December 13, 2007
"Pouring music down the canyon/Coloring the sunshine hours/They are the ladies of the canyon." -- Joni Mitchell, Ladies of the Canyon (1970)

Those last three lines of the title track to Joni Mitchell's 1970 hit album also describe the popular local tribute band of the same name. Based in the flat Midwest, the four "Ladies of the Canyon," Stephanie Rogers, Ingrid Graudins, Becca Kaufman, and Kim Frost, are very talented women who have poured music and good times on audiences since 2002, performing well-received tributes to great female singer-songwriters.

» Click to enlarge image

The Ladies of the Canyon will pay tribute to Carole King and Bonnie Raitt at the Wilmette Theatre.
Beginning with Joni Mitchell, the group has also created tribute shows to Sade, Blondie, Bonnie Raitt, Carole King, Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders), and Kate Bush.

The group began as a reaction to the Tributosaurus shows at Martyr's in Chicago.

Remember the ladies
Realizing that the Tributosarus shows were all about male artists, recalled Rogers, "someone said, "let's do this for the chicks!"

Rogers and the other ladies are all very accomplished performers, involved in various solo projects and engagements in addition to this tribute band.

Rogers, for one, has released 2 CDs on her own label, Hipchick Records, and her music was recently featured on WBEZ's "Eight Forty-Eight" show. Her background also includes acting in numerous commercials, and some television and movies, including the TV series, "Stephen King's Golden Years," and a Chuck Norris movie, "The Hit Man."

Rogers, a friendly and humorous conversationalist, opined:

"Some day I will go back to acting, and redeem myself for having a Chuck Norris movie as the best credit on my movie resume!"

Local color
A Chicago area native, Rogers recalled when she moved back to the suburbs from the city: "I couldn't believe I was moving back to the suburbs, so I dyed my hair purple in retaliation. It was (like that) for about four months. I'm like a hurricane in this town, but people are so nice to me, and even come to my shows."

Rogers noted that her husband is much more "normal" and is her biggest fan noting that "he knows that (I'm his) only tie to true eccentricity."

Rogers looks forward to the show at the newly updated Wilmette Theatre, where the co-owners, Sam Samuelson and Carole Dibo, return the compliment. "We're excited about this show. It will be the largest concert we've had so far, from the stand-point of how many musicians there will be on the stage," he said. In addition to the four vocalists, the show includes four to five instrumentalists, and guest vocalist, Jim Fine.

This program is exactly the sort of show Samuelson hopes to have more of. "For live shows, we have a cool room with a good vibe, terrific audiences," he said. "We want to be the place where the insiders want to play, the favored little chestnut."


With special guest, Jim Hines. Wilmette Theatre, 1122 Central Ave., Wilmette. 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17. $20, students and seniors $15. (847) 251-7424.

- Tribune


"Daisy Petal In The Dirt" (2011)
"Your New Life" (2004)
"Not To Keep" (2001)

Stephanie Rogers is a spotlight local artist on Chicago's WXRT and is also featured on several streaming stations, including Chicago's WBEZ Public Radio, WDCB Public Radio and Phase Radio:

Her band has also been featured on several Chicago and national television stations, incluing ABC and WGN.



"Stephanie Rogers is at once a deep-rooted soul sister and an ethereal, multi-instrumental songstress whose sound evokes the passion of Tori Amos, the be-bop chill of Rickie Lee Jones, the thoughtfulness of Regina Spektor and the siren of Kate Bush. Her dynamic range and vocal style are welcoming, memorable, and delivered with a top-notch infectious approach that leaves the audience longing to hear and learn more about her."

"From the first few notes sung, it becomes very clear how powerful a vocalist Stephanie Rogers is....(Daisy Petal In The Dirt is) a spectacular showcase of her talents." Heath Andrews, reviewer.

"Rogers, who founded Hipchick Records in 2000, is known for her clever lyrics, quirky humor and soulful melodies. After performing in the alternative rock scene around Chicago in the early 1990s, she moved to Los Angeles to act. She learned how to play guitar, moved back Chicago and started Hipchick Records. After spending 10 years as a full-time mom, she's returning to the music scene with her new album, 'Daisy Petal in the Dirt.'

Daisy Petal In The Dirt "is a strong showing of a very talented singer/songwriter with an ability to craft unique music that never forgoes being listenable..." Lilli Kuzma, Chicago Sun-Times reviewer.

By Stephanie:

I came to music after having cancer. I was an actress living in Los Angeles, doing commercials and small parts in tv and film. Then I had an epiphany while I was enduring a hospital stay. I knew I wanted to sing my stories. I packed up my car, came home to Chicago, and studied music seriously.

I always used music to help build my characters as an actor and even sang in a few bands during and after college. I loved funk and edgy rock, but also artists like Rickie Lee Jones and Aimee Mann, in addition to soul singers like Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan. I never thought I'd be good enough to actually join a professional band, however it was a dream that became a reality after a life-threatening illness changed my mind about limitations. I sat in that hospital bed and told my friend Andrew: "I am going to sing." And I did.

Now I am a professional musician leading two different bands in Chicago (and singing freelance with other bands). I've produced three cds on my personal label, Hipchick Records, and I play every week around town. My new record is my baby. It took three years to make and was produced in Nashville by the very talented Nelson Hubbard. I love what he did with the songs. I had recorded the whole thing in Chicago and wasn't happy with the sound, so I searched for four months to find Neilson, then re-recorded the whole thing in early 2011. More information about the recording process for "Daisy Petal In The Dirt" can be found on my blog (see link at the bottom of this page).