Ben Rogers is a classic storyteller with a voice like smoke-damaged velvet soaked in Tennessee whiskey and the wild charisma of a young Johnny Cash. “The man’s dark charisma is something you need to experience live to fully appreciate,” writes The Georgia Straight, who included him in their Best of Bands 2013 following the release his critically acclaimed debut Lost Stories: Volume I.
The Bloodred Yonder, Rogers sophomore album, produced by Juno nominated big brother Matt Rogers (The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer), is set for release on August 14th, 2015. The Bloodred Yonder is what Rogers describes as “the transition from life to death, good to evil, paradise to perdition, and all the lost souls you meet along the way.” The album is a collection of songs that are raucous fun and brooding ballads about natural and manmade disasters, murder ballads and jilted lovers beginning in the Garden of Eden and ascending into distant netherworld.
Rogers has penned songs with other artists including “Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To” and “Cry A Little” with The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer and “Rise Up” for No Sinner. He is also an accomplished actor whose recent credits include Motive, CBC’s Strange Empire, and a supporting role in dark comedy The Driftless Area starring Zooey Deschanel, Anton Yelchin, and John Hawkes that premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
Rogers’ 4-piece backing band is a stellar lineup of some of western Canada’s finest with Matt Kelly (City and Color) on pedal steel and keys, Erik Nielsen (Rich Hope) on bass, John Sponarski (Portage and Main) on lead guitar, and Leon Power (Frazey Ford) on drums. They combine outlaw country influences ala Waylon Jennings with the cosmic quality of The Flying Burrito Brothers and the grit of Neil Young & Crazy Horse to form a distinct and captivating sound that Exclaim! Magazine proclaims will knock “the audience’s socks, clean off.”
They have had the pleasure to share the stage with the likes of Dwight Yoakam, Daniel Romano, Pegi Young, The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, Frank Turner, Dustin Bentall, The Sojourners, Luke Doucet, and Tim Hus. Rogers has performed at various festivals throughout Canada including Burnaby Blues & Roots Fest, Kispiox Festival, In The House Festival, Canadian Music Week, Home Routes, Evolve Festival, 2014 Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City and will be part of this year’s South Country Fair.
You can catch Ben and his smokin’ band at the Bella Coola Music Festival on July 23 and 24, 2016.