When I was a little girl, my family’s favorite musician died in a horrible plane wreck. Stan Rogers is a national icon in Canada, an absolutely legend. My mother says his voice “has balls in it,” and my dad has played with him in the backrooms of several Ontario clubs and pubs. I can’t imagine a Christmas without his voice – he will always sound like home. He’s from the town where I grew up, his wife knew my mother, and huge parts of my life are interwoven with tiny parts of his life.
A brilliant folk singer, Stan always fought hard to find the living, breathing stories that made Canada what it is – he wrote songs about fishing the Great Lakes, dancing on a Saturday night in Halifax, living out west on the prairies and missing the folks back east, and a thousand other moments, big and small. His love songs and ballads always manage to capture something tiny and make it mean more – a woman looking at the lines on her face in the mirror, the music in a woman’s eyes, a lock-keeper who wouldn’t trade his life for the sailor he meets. And goodness, his voice – his voice is unbelievable.
Well, I just found his son, Nathan. His son is a year older than I am, almost to the day, and he’s a singer-songwriter as well. You’d have to know me well to know exactly how much this means to me, and that I would move heaven and earth to see him sing live.