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December 12, 2017

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Sweet Roger

It’s pretty much the protocol in today’s music industry: make a record and then hit the road. Bring songs and stories born in one place to somewhere new.
But Montreal-based singer-songwriter Sweet Roger took the opposite route, travelling the country, sharing and collecting stories and experiences, and finally returning home to appease his reinvigorated muse. The result is his first full-length record, You’ll Always Have Yourself.
Seamlessly spinning folk, Americana, and alternative influences into lush arrangements ripe with melodic hooks and poignant lyrics, Sweet Roger delivers a debut that betrays the term, sounding instead like the career-defining album from a road-worn artist. And there’s good reason for that.
The musician now known as Sweet Roger picked up the guitar as a teenager, inspired by his brother’s basement jams. Diving headfirst into the three-chord catalogues of early-‘90s Sub Pop staples, he soon started writing his own songs – admittedly rough but necessary precursors for what was to come.
Out of high school, he took to the highway and travelled across the country, free of any obligation. “I just took on a bunch of odd jobs and kinda floundered for a bit,” he says candidly. Consciously or not, he was collecting bits and pieces of the people and places he encountered – fodder for future songs.
When he returned to Montreal, he started an open mic night at a downtown watering hole and got back into writing. “I was absorbing a lot of music at the time,” he recalls, “and every new artist I came across would push my writing in a new direction.” From Elliott Smith’s mastery of melody to Ben Harper’s emotive energy, he was constantly adding new cutouts to his sonic collage, but eventually, he grew discouraged of continually wiping the canvas clean and starting anew.
Temporarily replacing songs with essays, he studied English Literature at Concordia University, earning his BA and Master’s degree. Now a late graduate without prospects for employment, he was drawn back to his instrument as an escape from discouraging circumstances.
“And then something started to develop,” he says, and that something took on the name of Sweet Roger. “It was a musical voice, a persona, that felt like something real.”
And there it was. Out of humbling conditions, he was free to make inspired, imaginative art.
In early 2016, producers with La Voix – Quebec’s version of The Voice – came across a demo of “You’ll Always Have Yourself” online and reached out to invite him to audition for the show. After much contemplation, he decided to go for it. “I was flattered and intimidated at the same time,” he admits, but it ended up working in his favour.
He logged some screen time, turned some chairs, and ultimately left with an armful of new contacts and encouragement about his craft.
Enlisting the aid of engineer and longtime friend Paul Edwards (Simple Plan, Krief), Sweet Roger set out to record an EP with his top cuts, but even through the sessions, the songs kept coming. Eventually, they were sitting on an LP’s worth of material.
With a close-knit group of handpicked musicians, You’ll Always Have Yourself took shape. Sweet Roger’s dulcet vocals and cultured poetry are anchored at the forefront of the eight tracks comprising the album, and the collection sits perfectly balanced between traditional and contemporary, familiar but fresh. It’s the quintessential soundtrack to a day on a still dock or a night around a campfire with a bottle being passed around.
The lyrics are original, captivating, and yet intimately homespun. Sweet Roger wrestles weighty subjects in a simple, straightforward fashion. “That’s something you learn from great songwriters like Springsteen or Tom Petty or Ray LaMontagne,” he muses. “You can tackle big and complex concepts, but you don’t have to present them that way.” As a result, the social commentary isn’t condescending, the love songs aren’t plodding,
and the raw emotions remain pure and powerful. Even the album title sits between opposing poles. It’s true that You’ll Always Have
Yourself, but that can be as burdensome as it is beneficial – and nowhere is that more clear than in Sweet Roger’s own story.
But now, with an impressive debut album to his name and an inspired outlook on his art, Sweet Roger is ready to take to the road and share that story and many others far and wide, with some newfound friends.
Album: You'll Always Have Yourself (2017)
While combining folk, alternative and rock, Sweet Roger's plainspoken lyrics and dulcet voice help him navigate through a vast terrain of thoughts and emotions on his debut album.


Notes for the artist:
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# (PST) Name length Rating Notes
1 9:00 Put Out the Fires 04:00 4
2 9:04 White The Walls 03:54 4
3 9:08 Conditions 05:32 4
4 9:13 Are These The Days? 03:57 4
5 9:17 You'll Always Have Yourself 04:16 4
6 9:22 Loon Lake 05:22 4
7 9:27 Goodbye World 03:30 4
8 9:31 Conditions 05:25 4

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Hurt and the Heartbeat  

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Notes for the artist
: This page will always be here under your name in "Featured Artists". You can always send us an updated Bio using 'CONTACT' on Menu at the top of page.

# (PST) Artist Name length Rating Notes
9 9:36 Hurt and the Heartbeat Eyes Like Betty White 03:06 4
10 9:39 Mack Meadows Time Off 04:03 4 New song
11 9:43 TolbertToz Hallelujah 03:59 5
12 9:47 Bellman The Best Of Me 03:15 4
13 9:51 Faith & Harry Last Christmas 04:29 4 New song
14 9:55 Hegarty  I wont go down that road again 02:50 4
15 9:58 KeithShaw (It's A) Race To The Bottom 03:03 4 New song
16 10:01 Riff Reign Night Train 03:39 4
17 10:05 Skidbone That Girl 03:51 4
18 10:09 St.Cyr-White West Wind 03:21 4
19 10:13 St.Cyr-White The Ususal Suspectz 03:57 4
20 10:17 TolbertToz Pieces 04:04 4
21 10:21 TolbertToz Driving Home for Christmas 04:10 4
22 10:25 Truth in Advertising DMV 04:23 4
23 10:29 Victor Samalot Streets Of Barcelona 01:56 4
24 10:31 Violent Divine Apocalyptic and Insane 03:25 4
25 10:35 Non Duo Mama 04:54 4
26 10:40 Angus Powell Standing on Their Shoulders 03:39 4
27 10:44 Foxpalmer In My Head 04:14 4
28 10:48 Roger Gomez Slipping Into Suburbia 04:33 4
29 10:53 Bleak One Woman War Zone 03:17 4
30 10:56 Borrowed Body Bonfire Night 1994 02:06 4
31 10:58 Landspeeder One Cent Magenta 03:23 4
32 11:02 Moaning Lisas Death Train 04:45 4
33 11:06 Terry Dark´s Jameson Raid Metal People 03:20 4
34 11:10 Two Fishes Band Fish Tale 03:35 4
35 11:14 Drive On Mak Comin' For You 02:43 4
36 11:16 Flimsy Model Home 03:16 4
37 11:20 J Eastman and the Drunk Uncles Not The Liquor 03:16 4
38 11:23 James B Living The Dream 04:15 4
39 11:27 Jimmy Lee Morris The Final Tune's For You 03:06 4
40 11:31 Jon Moses Run 05:43 4
41 11:36 Joon Wolfsberg Movies 03:57 4
42 11:40 JoosTVD Surprise 03:00 4
43 11:43 Landspeeder Spacehead 03:06 4
44 11:47 Larre U-A Misery 03:32 4
45 11:50 Moon Just Follow 02:56 4
46 11:53 Naryan Falling Asleep 03:34 4
47 11:57 the Oohz Needle in the Mirror 03:17 4
48 12:00 Rodney Branigan One Seed 03:20 4
49 12:04 Rusty Shipp Tip Of My Tongue 03:25 4
50 12:07 Stage 11 Insomnia 03:40 4
51 12:11 Tell Her I Love Her Unravel 03:44 4
52 12:15 Veronica V Special 04:54 4
53 12:20 Years Before Live Forever 03:29 4
54 12:23 Aled Hughes Nothing but Trouble 03:35 4
55 12:27 Colch Absinthe and Dried Grapes 04:36 4
56 12:32 The Crowning Stay 04:31 4
57 12:36 Drive On Mak Kiss Thy Hand 03:59 4
58 12:40 Excorde More 04:15 4
59 12:45 The Pieces of Mind Walking In The Shadow Of Today 04:47 4
60 12:50 Petrella Working in the USA 03:18 4
61 12:53 J.Delfino Frustration 03:16 4
62 12:56 J.Delfino Alive 03:31 4
63 1:00 Scott Smith Turn Out The Lights  02:46 3
64 1:03 Alan Garmonsway & Anne Cunningham Wintertime in Paris 03:33 3
65 1:06 Fiona Ross That Moment 04:29 3
66 1:11 Gail Everett Sorry 02:56 3
67 1:14 Deborah Moore Christmas in the Dakotas 03:59 3
68 1:18 Gail Everett Latin Fun 03:02 3
69 1:21 Me G Christmas Ivy 02:41 3 New song
70 1:24 TheKunig Testify 03:04 3
71 1:27 Lewis Barfoot Taranaki 04:05 3
72 1:31 Neil and Adam Everything is Alright 03:47 3
73 1:35 TheKunig Timeless Boundaries 03:13 3
74 1:38 Wade Magee Release Me 03:56 3
75 1:42 Annemarie Picerno I Don't Know What Love Is 03:46 3
76 1:46 Annemarie Picerno Rain 04:14 3
77 1:51 Disquiet Born to Dissent 04:29 3
78 1:55 Ben Miller Blues Train 04:50 2 New song