Benjamin Dakota Rogers


Label: Independent
Album: Better By Now
Tracks : 11
Website:  
Benjamin Dakota Rogers

 

 

Better By Now is the latest album from Ontario singer/songwriter Benjamin Dakota Rogers. Produced by Dan Hosh, it is filled with songs that show a passion and maturity which belies Rogers’ tender years. The slightly gravelly vocals add to the excellent storytelling on this fine collection of blues-tinged country/folk.

The album opens with the title track which is a rather dark tale of regret and loss. The vocals are perfect for this type of song. Throughout the album, the lyrics are eloquent and absorbing and weave captivating tales of love, loss and heartache.

The first real spine-tingling moment comes with the third track, Pretty Girls. The harmony vocals by Meg Contini are perfect from the start and the refined guitar and pedal steel backing enrich what is a beautiful song. ‘Til I Die is similarly delicate piece with a mournful story of a departed loved one that drips with impassioned emotion.

Rogers’ idea with this album was to strip down the genre to its core and he has certainly delivered. The honesty and grit of the human condition is prevalent throughout.

The album continues with more impeccable songs from this highly talented writer. Home with its simple chorus and intensely spoken verses leaves no doubt about the passion behind the lyric. $7 is about the struggle to cope after being left bereft of funds as a result of an unwise liaison.

Rogers’ folk music journey began when he inherited his Grandfather’s violin at the age of seven. From the tiny town of Scotland in rural Ontario, that journey has led to this album that blends roots, blues and country music in to a highly potent combination.

Lazy Old Moon with its thumping percussion and chanted refrain and Mercy with its distinctly bluesy vibe show a different side to his talents.

She Was a Singer is another exceptional story song which paints some intense pictures and draws you into the sentiment of the tale.

The closing track Saints and Sinners, brings everything together. With its opening banjo and fiddle, superb harmonies, haunting strings and emotional lyric, it is a song that sums up this album perfectly.

Benjamin Dakota Rogers may be a young man but his song writing on this CD is steeped in raw heartache and the frailty of life. It is a genuinely moving album and deserves the widest possible audience.

 

Hughie McNeill