Tim Rogers is a veteran of the folk music scene having played numerous clubs and festivals across Canada over the past 5 decades. He is also a
writer. On January 9 he will bring these two endeavours together by presenting a set of songs and storytelling focused around his recent book,
“The Mystery of the SS Southern Cross.” Set in 1914 Newfoundland, this novel tells the story of a ship that went sealing in the Gulf of St.
Lawrence. One hundred and seventy-three men were lost when she went down in a terrible storm on her trip home. Tim’s set will tell this relatively untold story in both spoken word and traditional song. In so doing, aspects of vibrant Newfoundland culture come to life. Prepare yourself for a rip-roaring sea story along with lots of traditional song and Newfoundland lore.
The musical component of the story of the SS Southern Cross is celebrated in Tim’s book, both in the actual text, as well as in a CD that comes with the novel. This CD, which contains music from and about the times of the Southern Cross, is performed by Jim Payne and Fergus O’Byrne, two of Newfoundland’s finest traditional singers. It is, simply, a great CD. In a cultural time that was literally infused with music, the mix of spoken word and song that Tim will present is incredibly rich. It paints a vivid celebration of the people involved and the traditions in which they lived.
Tim became intrigued by the story of the Southern Cross while studying folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He encountered a ballad that told the story (“The Southern Cross” in Gerald S. Doyle’s “Old Time Poetry and Songs of Newfoundland”) and, after quite a bit of research, wrote several academic articles about the event. However, these articles failed to quell his desire to tell the human side of this great story. He retired early from his job as a professor at the University of Calgary, and began the long task of learning “real” writing and putting the great story to paper. “The Mystery of the SS Southern Cross” (St. John’s, NL: Creative Book Publishers) is the result.
Tim has released several music CDs, including the award-winning “Songs of the Iron Trail”. This album, performed with Barry Luft of Calgary,
contains songs about the Canadian railroad experience. Tim now lives in Victoria.