Stan Rogers: songwriter of work, change, & sea
see a video of Stan Rogers singing the chorus of Northwest passage
Rogers was a musician of the land, and of the working person. Though still in his early thirties when he died in an accident, he left a legacy of song which continue to touch people's hearts across the world.
Sixteen of these are gathered on The Very Best of Stan Rogers.
Rogers shows his lively, jaunty side in Fogarty’s Cove, and handles sadness, the bittersweet nature of aging, and the lasting power of love in the reflective song Lies. Free in the Harbour weaves in whaling and changes in the work of seafaring. Work and change, in the sea and on the farm, are frames for the stories Rogers tells in Make and Break Harbour and The Field Behind the Plow. His deep baritone adds color to the stories he tells, and the time he spent in Nova Scotia, summers a a child and returning as an adult is likely one reason you hear elements of Scotland and Cape Breton often in melody and instrumentation on these tracks.
The collection closes with the song The Mary Ellen Carter. The raising of a sunken ship and finding courage and hope to face obstacles all come into play in this well loved song, but not quite in the way you might think. That’s something Rogers left as a legacy, too: stories and melodies that work well in a straightforward way, yet often contain layers of meaning beyond what is at first apparent as well.
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