Benjamin Dakota Rogers’ new album is out today!
Benjamin Dakota Rogers’ brand new album, Better By Now, is out today, and Benjamin will kick off an extensive tour of Canada in support of it beginning with a CD release concert tomorrow at the venerable Hugh’s Room Live in Toronto – along with an April 25 stop in Windsor at Mackenzie Hall, presented by the Windsor Folk Society (see full tour dates above the video at the bottom of this story).
Benjamin made his highly-anticipated return to the folk world with his new single, the album’s title track, on Jan. 25.
“Better by Now,” which earned a top 40 single spot on the Airplay Direct folk chart, strips the genre down to its core and emotionally charges it with raw human experience, proving that the award-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist folk phenom is at the top of his game in every way imaginable.
“Better By Now” – “a beautifully sad folk pop ballad,” to quote Jan Hall of Folk Roots Radio – is the album’s lead-off track, and it sets the tone for what’s to come, proving the depth and maturity of Benjamin’s coming of age as he delves into the state we find ourselves in while we are in a relationship and come to realize we “really ought to know better by now.” Cut two, “Fare Thee Well,” is an upbeat song featuring brilliant unbound violin, capturing the moment when we realize we love someone but we need to move on. The third track, “Pretty Girls,” featuring haunting harmony from Meg Conti, leans into the love of dark starry midnights and paints a vivid picture of traveling from town to town away from those we are far from.
“’Til I Die,” with its poetically gorgeous yet grief-stricken lyrics and sorrow-filled melody, leaves the listener feeling an ache of loss and a yearning to continue searching the ocean even “though she’s six feet in the ground.” Benjamin gives us a glimpse of his growing career as a musician on “$7,” singing “just need seven more dollars to ride that train.” That’s followed by an interlude midway through the CD as Benjamin begs the “Lazy Old Moon” to “bring me home safe to her” after fighting another man’s war.
Life is supposed to hurt, to make you feel, and Benjamin does just that in the gripping tale of “Home” (cut 7) “because if it doesn’t hurt when everything’s said and done and over with, what was the fucking point?” Next up is “Rockabye,” which captures a reflective time laying in a field realizing friends and family will be missed as Benjamin’s career begins to take off. Bluesy, gritty folk storytelling lends further depth to the album in the next track, “Mercy,” about a fugitive being hunted by a bounty hunter; it was inspired by a 1911 Rangers badge in Benjamin’s antique collection.
“She Was a Singer” (cut 10) is a song about a father telling his child about his mother “in one of those old-timey rock-and-roll bands.” The final track, “Saints and Sinners,” about living with mental illness and addiction, begins as a lilting, brutally honest love song before launching into an energetic almost frenetic near-end chorus with well-appointed harmonies and intense instrumentation buildup.
Benjamin Dakota Rogers found a passion and purpose in folk music after inheriting his great-grandfather’s violin at the tender age of seven. From budding musician to awe-inspiring performer, his love of creating meaningful music has taken the reins and garnered much attention from folk artists and enthusiasts alike.
“Rogers’ unique voice, thought-provoking lyrics, energetic performances and dynamic fiddle techniques leave this up-and-coming musician in a class of his own,” wrote InSpades Magazine.
With the release of his most ambitious project to date, Benjamin Dakota Rogers continues to redefine the genre with an infinite sound evolution that promises to deepen the path he’s already carved for himself for years to come. This is an album that can only be delivered from the honesty and grit of a farm boy’s hands. Hailing from the countryside of rural Ontario, Benjamin funnels his penchant for starry nights and nostalgia into his stylized folk sound, reaching far beyond to include influences of roots, blues and country music.
See Benjamin Dakota Rogers live:
- April 6 – Hugh’s Room Live, Toronto, ON
- April 13 – The Black Horse Pub, Peterborough, ON
- April 20 – Fortune Concerts, Dundas, ON
- April 25 – Mackenzie Hall Cultural Centre, Windsor, ON
- April 26 – Chaucer’s Pub, Cuckoo’s Nest Folk Club, London, ON
- April 27 – Subculture Concerts, Oshawa, ON