2024 TRADITIONAL ROOTS ALBUM OF THE YEAR | Benjamin Dakota Rogers | | The JUNO Awards

Benjamin Dakota Rogers wields one of those distinct, immediate, and truly wild voices. With a studied nod to old-time and bluegrass rhythms, his unvarnished sound smashes the barrier between past and present. Hailing from his family’s farm in Southwestern Ontario, Rogers grew up building greenhouses, growing vegetables, and living off the land. “These days I live in one of the barns, tap trees, and make music,” he says. Delivering songs from a deep well of passion for storytelling, Rogers’ lyric sensibility is rare among young artists. His single, John Came Home, is a haunting take on the murder ballad. “I’d had the riff for about six months,” he says. “I tend to write short stories and convert them into songs.” John Came Home is full of upbeat boldness and ghostly ire that culminates in a direct hit to the chest. 

Paint Horse has been met with widespread acclaim and has amassed millions of streams across various platforms. In addition to the album’s popularity, several of the tracks have gone viral on TikTok, further increasing Rogers’ visibility and appeal. His unconventional use of his instruments have garnered him accolades and a reputation for legitimacy and innovation.“I just set up a studio in the barn” he says. “I’m excited to start laying down new tracks there. Sometimes we even get the odd coyote howl funnelled into the recording.” It’s clear that Benjamin Dakota Rogers is a force to be reckoned with in the world of Americana music.