Montreal based artist Sweet Roger is a surly blues and folk songwriter, distilling everyday life into sound and fury. With his finger-picking guitar playing, crafty melodies and poignant lyrics, he is reminiscent of early 20th century outliers who sang in rough and coarse overtones, and yet he finds relevance for folksy themes in an advanced age where we continue to search for solace.
Sweet Roger released his debut album, You’ll Always Have Yourself, in 2017, impressing his fans by spinning folk, Americana and alternative influences into lush arrangements and earning the artist a TIMA nomination for his track “Loon Lake”. Now, Sweet Roger returns and dives deeper into his roots with his new songs “Pay Me” and “Come Back”, the first instalments to a new album on the way recorded on his own during the lockdown of 2020. Forced into isolation like so many, Sweet Roger swapped out the comforts of the sophistications of a professional studio for a completely solitary, homespun recording. No producer. No band. Just the artist. The result: “Pay Me” and “Come Back” capture the unsettling mood of the times with defiant performances of raw vocals and growly acoustics that power us forward.
The path leading up to this artist’s breakthrough is very unconventional. After many years of roaming from one Canadian town to the next, working odd jobs and writing tunes in between, Sweet Roger walked the straight path into university and came out with two degrees. He landed a teaching position at a local college, and just when everything seemed to settle into a long career ahead, Sweet Roger did the unthinkable. He quit it all.
Working as an oyster shucker in Old Montreal to pay the bills, he played gigs around town, toured, and performed at major festivals. The work, the struggle, and the dark hours gave ample inspiration for songs that tell genuine stories of love and loss. Picking up some momentum after releasing his first album and building his audience, Sweet Roger returns now with new material that has even more provocation and edge, an audible swagger that is both scrappy and sympathetic.
“Pay Me” and “Come Back” tracks performed, produced and recorded by Sweet Roger. Videos produced by Sweet Roger.