The full house during any Roger Roger performance showcases the talents of one of Manitoba’s most talented siblings. Hailing from outside Winnipeg, Madeleine and Lucas Roger grew up in a musical household – more so than most who can make that claim.
Their father owned his own studio, and the twins regularly share stories with their audiences about that experience. What might have been normal table talk for most of us was instead usually back and forth banter about something that happened in the studio – maybe a quirk during recording of any of a number of artists over the years, including the Weakerthans and The Willin’ Jennys.
Lucas wound up selling his own custom guitars while Madeline worked in various theatre capacities. “I used to sit in the library and just pull plays off the shelf and read them. That was the height of my theatre nerdiness,” she quipped. “From Grade Two until I was about 22 that’s what I wanted to do, then I discovered songwriting. It took awhile but I discovered that’s what I’d been looking for my whole life for.”
It was only natural the duo was formed, and they released the independent debut FAIRWEATHER, in 2016. Nine original tracks, the album is clean and simple acoustic numbers with compelling stories. They take turns including a healthy sampling of each of their songwriting prowess – all equally compelling. “13 Crows,” the title track, “Think of Me,” “O Rainy Day,” and “Mad Trapper” tell stories, sometimes from an outsider’s perspective, but all with conviction. “Mad Trapper” is the true story of a recluse that cut off his own hand one winter while tending the trapline, and the way he was perceived by the rest of the townspeople.
They found themselves on the Home Routes tour (a group of Bed & Breakfasts across North America that bring in unsigned acts in the comfort of an intimate crowd and setting.) They’ve now travelled across Canada and parts of the US, opportunities they said probably wouldn’t have occurred otherwise – and special in their own right. “Meeting the people is part of what makes these shows special, since our songs are about people,” Lucas commented.