Opening for Séan is Benjamin Dakota Rogers, a young fiddle phenom and folk singer-songwriter who's already garnering awards and accolades.
The Friday evening concert began with a mesmerizing set of songs from Benjamin Dakota Rogers: a 19 year old kid with the voice and chops of a veteran performer. He played a short set of original tunes on guitar and a borrowed fiddle that left the audience searching their schedules for his workshops and concert times.
For his second album Strong Man's Address to the Circus Crowd, Brantford's Benjamin Dakota Rogers has enhanced his alt-folk style with amazing production. It's fuller and superbly well-crafted.
Benjamin's voice has a lot of character and shines through on every track. He also wields a harmonica, fiddle, guitar and mandolin to create a lavish, warm sound. Americana, folk, pop, rock, classical and many other elements filter though for a wonderful, unique sound. There are even two incredible spoken word pieces.
Assisting the singer/songwriter are two very talented musicians: Randy Solski (percussion, keyboard, guitar and bass) and Rebekah Hawker (harmonies)
So, if you're looking for music with substance pick up a CD at his fabulous live shows or download the album using iTunes or cdbaby.
Benjamin, it was truly a pleasure having you come in... you are musically gifted and who knew you have such a latent working with kids?! They continued to rave about you all day! (Ok...maybe I did too!!) Thank you for taking the time to come out and inspire some MPS folk!!
Last Saturday, I visited Alexandra Park, where the Saturday Music In The Park series takes place all summer starting at 12:30 p.m.
On stage that afternoon was multi-instrumentalist and singer, Benjamin Dakota Rogers, who, along with his friend, bassist-singer Chris Rait, performed for a small but appreciative audience. Throughout his performance, Rogers captured all the emotions of sadness, love, loneliness, and longing in the poetic lyrics of his original songs.
Rait often added vocal harmony to Rogers' songs, many of which were taken from his three albums. His first album, Wayfarer, was produced in 2014. His second CD, Strong Man's Address to The Circus Crowd, and the newest release, Whisky and Pine, are available for purchase on his website.
Rogers accompanies himself on guitar for some tunes and uses violin on others. His expressive techniques on these instruments add to the passion of his sometimes warm, and at other times aggressive, lyrics.
Songs such as Move Ben, Move, Looking For A Fight, Mr. Robot and Strong Man's Address To The Circus Crowd reveal his dynamic vocal versatility at delivering the lyrics.
He included Peregrine, a driving up-tempo fiddle tune, which is on his third CD, near the end of his concert
Just 20, the Mount Pleasant native has been twice nominated for young performer of the year by the Canadian Folk Music Awards for his first two albums.
He has performed at many outdoor venues this summer, including at the Mariposa Festival in Orillia, which he described as fantastic, Paris Lions Park and Brantford's Victoria Park.
His numerous upcoming engagements include; July 29 at The Blue Skies Music Festival in Clarendon, Ont.; Aug. 3 at Wellington Park, Simcoe; Aug 4 at Waterford Old Town Hall and Aug. 5 at the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival. In September, he heads to Alberta.
BScene Music Scene: Benjamin Dakota Rogers
Is it possible to have such an old soul at a young age? To me, the answer is yes.
Talking with Benjamin Dakota Rogers, on a beautiful morning in Paris, was a treat to say the least. This 19 year old, multitalented musician and singer/songwriter has more than a few tricks up his sleeve when it comes to getting the attention of fans, fellow musicians, and festival goers alike. Growing up just minutes outside of Brantford on a small hobby farm in Mount Pleasant, Benjamin started honing his artistic talents at a young age, not just musically. At the age of seven, he inherited his great grandfather's violin, saying with a smile that, "the instrument actually sounded terrible" -being that it may not sound like a Stradivarius violin. That beauty of a family heirloom dons Benjamin’s wall and is one of the contributing factors to him getting started with music. Learning and playing violin classically at age seven, then transitioning to the fiddle, and eventually, into a range of guitar styling. A fan of Leonard Cohen and the musical styles of Passenger, Rogers describes his music as his own individualistic style of folk. His way of storytelling is a spoken word" singing that has garnered him the attention and recognition he deserves. Benjamin’s EP, Wayfarer, was nominated for Young Performer of the Year at the 2014 Canadian Folk Music Awards. The album has a terrific harmony of fiddle and lyrical mosaics. Having a few nods from the music industry as a two time CFMA nominee for Young Performer of the Year and ISC winner, Rogers has it covered with a lyrical and instrumental style that piques the inner emotions of fans; as well as himself. In 2014 Benjamin was featured as one of the Youth Discoveries winners at the Summerfolk Festival in Owen Sound and as a participant in the youth program at Folk Music Conference in Toronto, where he was awarded the Taylor Mitchell Bursary. His parents have played a big part in his process from the very beginning. He spoke of how his father would offer up lyrics and ideas, and although not quite developing into actual songs, the ideas were there for the taking. Music and writing go hand in hand, there is not one step before the other for this creative voice. The process is not "forced or designated", but when the ideas and moments of improvisation hit, songs and melodies are created; tweaked by emotion, and turned into uncomplicated free run music. Last fall, Benjamin was nominated for a second Canadian Folk Music Award, so he and a fellow musician traveled to Edmonton to perform; immersing themselves in the Canadian music scene. His roots are in busking, but the Station Coffee House in Brantford is also adored, not to mention opening for Sean McCann of Great Big Sea at the Waterford Old Town Hall; the place of his first CD launch. Not selling tickets, but by donation, Rogers packed the hall with standing room only. Not surprising for this talent of intriguing sound and melodic lyrics. I spoke to Benjamin about the legendary Robert Plant,and Plant’s ideals of music, I quoted one of Plant’s ideals of music saying, "the only way to keep about in this business was to keep evolving". I asked Benjamin he same question, and I think he said it best when he said "I think my ideal success for my music would be if it's still being listened to long after I'm not here". Benjamin Dakota