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Wednesday
Jun142017

Dang, I missed it!

Disclaimer: This is a post about Canada. For those who find Canada uninteresting, feel free to click away.

One of the things I wanted to do during this year of Canada's 150th birthday is write more Canadian content. Well, I suppose all of the content is Canadian since I am Canadian. However, there were some dates in the year I was supposed to be paying attention to. In early June, the 2nd, I missed one: the death of Stan Rogers.

Stan Rogers is one of my favourite singers; ever. My husband introduced him to me. I was a newlywed and heard the sounds of his voice, and I wondered who owned that booming voice. One of the first songs I remember hearing was the the song "The Witch of the Westmoreland."  Rogers had a huge voice, and it echoed beautifully throughout our tiny apartment. I was hooked.

Rogers wrote about real life and real people. Whether it was singing about an aging farmwife, the man who tends the locks, or the migration of workers to western Canada, he sang about ordinary lives. He sang with a tangible passion in his voice no matter the subject matter. No, he was not a popular music singing success, and no he did not take his talent to the U.S. in hopes of becoming more of a commercial success, but he had a great talent, and he wrote good songs. He had a talent for depicting the human condition with poignancy. And his voice still gives goosebumps. There was simply something about it I can't explain.

My favourite of his recordings is From Fresh Water, a recording centred around the Great Lakes. Its content reflects the area where I live and from where he came. His song "Tiny Fish For Japan" is about a town very near to me, and every time I go there, I hear his song in my head. My favourite from that recording, is the song "White Squall." The way the music accents the rising action of the song is great.

A number of years ago, Adrienne Clarkson did a documentary called "One Warm Line." There are clips available here. If you like folk music, you just might like Stan Rogers. 

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