Top News

STANFEST: It really is ‘magic time'


StanFest is magic. As a professional touring magician (The Amazing Mr. J), this is the annual destination to “recharge” the magic batteries.

There's an energy there, an ethos. The audience, the artists, the atmosphere...all crackling with a passion that would make Stan Rogers proud.

One particularly magical experience involved Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary fame), who was kind enough to talk with me before performing my favourite childhood song, “Puff the Magic Dragon.”

                                                     * * *

        Peter Yarrow once called Stan Rogers "an extraordinary talent,the likes of which we haven't seen since Bob Dylan."

                                                      * * *

Naturally, this timeless tune serves also as a somewhat melancholy metaphor for the loss of childhood innocence, as we put away the fantasies of our youth and become adults. Even hearing it as a child, you can sense the sadness at the end, when Puff the Magic Dragon loses his friend, who stops visiting to play.

Under a misty Maritime moon, Peter Yarrow's calming, gentle performing nature quieted even the rowdiest young 'uns of the spellbound capacity crowd. Feeling emotional to experience such a treasured song live, and bracing myself for the impact of hearing Puff "sadly slip away" at the end...something happened.

The song didn't end there!

Peter recently created an extra verse, wherein, an adult Jackie Paper introduces Puff the Magic Dragon to his own children, who love him, and return to 'Honalee' to play with him. A happy ending!

The circle of joy continues. It felt so healing, heartfelt, and so joyously right. That night in Canso, Nova Scotia, the cheering crowd responded in kind.

This is the magic of StanFest. Continuing the circle of joy, sharing in good times, forever. Happy 20 years, and may you always rise again, like The Mary Ellen Carter.

Visiting StanFest is like a trip to Puff's magical land of 'Honalee'.

Hope to see you there, magic friends.

– David Johnston, 'The Amazing Mr. J- Magician/Entertainer'

                                                  * * *

Email us at Specials@trurodaily.com. with your Stan Rogers/Stanfest memories. We’ll compile the submissions and post them to our website and Facebook for everyone to enjoy.

                                                    * * *

Stan Rogers: A force of nature, with a Giant of a song

Stan made it through the song – just barely before everyone had to run for cover. It was one of those times, when you think it couldn’t possibly rain any harder – and it does. 

It was in Ontario at the Owen Sound Folk Festival, one of the first times I saw Stan, shortly after the first album release. He was on stage Sunday afternoon with John Allan Cameron and others. Stan played “Giant” – a song about harbours, rain, primal elements, “the blood of the Druids.”

The rain started. First a patter. Then it grew in pace with the rising of the song. As the tempest swelled, so it seemed did Stan and the audience’s awareness of how the song perfectly matched the elements.

He laughed, hammered the chords and thundered the lyrics, then laughed more as the rain pounded harder in response.

The final note rang; we took a break until the cloud burst sailed over.

But that was going to be a hard act to follow.

– Alan Elliott

                                                   * * *

Stan's music had a certain strength

It’s a great idea to let Stan Rogers fans unite in reminiscence! Several stories come to mind, with the most prominent one I recall, shared on a radio phone-in show.

It was by a man who was literally drowning in the ocean when the words to the Mary Ellen Carter (“Rise again, Rise Again”) came to him and he managed to stay strong and survive until he was rescued! Special Stanfest memories happened at the tent where musicians will sign your CDs and talk to you. Stan’s son Nathan impressed my 8-year-old daughter (and me) when he took the time to be sure he spelled out “Genevieve” fully – even though I said he could “just write Gen” because it would be quicker.

Of course, the special memories and what will take me back to the festival again is the discovery of the powerful and pure voices of singers we wouldn¹t otherwise know but who filled the car with song for many years: Elizabeth Hill, Karen Savoca, the Arrogant Worms, to name a few.

Thanks for the chance to smile at the memories.

Just one month until we Stan Rogers and Stanfest fans are back together again!

– L.M.T.

                                                    * * *

We want to hear about your memories of Stanfest and what Stan Rogers' music means to you

This coming Canada Day weekend marks 20 years since the first Stanfest concert was staged in Canso and it’s been a Maritimes mainstay since.

That’s two decades of memories, so let’s share them. Tell us how Stan Rogers’ music affected your life. A hook-up at Stanfest, maybe, that led to matrimony? The biggest fan you’ve ever come across? (Then again, maybe it’s you.) A special moment associated with Stan Rogers that sends a chill, just thinking about it?

And tell us what your favourite Stan Rogers song is, and why it’s so special?

We’d love to see photos, too, from Stanfest over the years.

These are memories that are too good not to share. So let’s get reminiscing.

Email us at Specials@trurodaily.com. We’ll compile the submissions and post them to our website and Facebook for everyone to enjoy.

There's an energy there, an ethos. The audience, the artists, the atmosphere...all crackling with a passion that would make Stan Rogers proud.

One particularly magical experience involved Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary fame), who was kind enough to talk with me before performing my favourite childhood song, “Puff the Magic Dragon.”

                                                     * * *

        Peter Yarrow once called Stan Rogers "an extraordinary talent,the likes of which we haven't seen since Bob Dylan."

                                                      * * *

Naturally, this timeless tune serves also as a somewhat melancholy metaphor for the loss of childhood innocence, as we put away the fantasies of our youth and become adults. Even hearing it as a child, you can sense the sadness at the end, when Puff the Magic Dragon loses his friend, who stops visiting to play.

Under a misty Maritime moon, Peter Yarrow's calming, gentle performing nature quieted even the rowdiest young 'uns of the spellbound capacity crowd. Feeling emotional to experience such a treasured song live, and bracing myself for the impact of hearing Puff "sadly slip away" at the end...something happened.

The song didn't end there!

Peter recently created an extra verse, wherein, an adult Jackie Paper introduces Puff the Magic Dragon to his own children, who love him, and return to 'Honalee' to play with him. A happy ending!

The circle of joy continues. It felt so healing, heartfelt, and so joyously right. That night in Canso, Nova Scotia, the cheering crowd responded in kind.

This is the magic of StanFest. Continuing the circle of joy, sharing in good times, forever. Happy 20 years, and may you always rise again, like The Mary Ellen Carter.

Visiting StanFest is like a trip to Puff's magical land of 'Honalee'.

Hope to see you there, magic friends.

– David Johnston, 'The Amazing Mr. J- Magician/Entertainer'

                                                  * * *

Email us at Specials@trurodaily.com. with your Stan Rogers/Stanfest memories. We’ll compile the submissions and post them to our website and Facebook for everyone to enjoy.

                                                    * * *

Stan Rogers: A force of nature, with a Giant of a song

Stan made it through the song – just barely before everyone had to run for cover. It was one of those times, when you think it couldn’t possibly rain any harder – and it does. 

It was in Ontario at the Owen Sound Folk Festival, one of the first times I saw Stan, shortly after the first album release. He was on stage Sunday afternoon with John Allan Cameron and others. Stan played “Giant” – a song about harbours, rain, primal elements, “the blood of the Druids.”

The rain started. First a patter. Then it grew in pace with the rising of the song. As the tempest swelled, so it seemed did Stan and the audience’s awareness of how the song perfectly matched the elements.

He laughed, hammered the chords and thundered the lyrics, then laughed more as the rain pounded harder in response.

The final note rang; we took a break until the cloud burst sailed over.

But that was going to be a hard act to follow.

– Alan Elliott

                                                   * * *

Stan's music had a certain strength

It’s a great idea to let Stan Rogers fans unite in reminiscence! Several stories come to mind, with the most prominent one I recall, shared on a radio phone-in show.

It was by a man who was literally drowning in the ocean when the words to the Mary Ellen Carter (“Rise again, Rise Again”) came to him and he managed to stay strong and survive until he was rescued! Special Stanfest memories happened at the tent where musicians will sign your CDs and talk to you. Stan’s son Nathan impressed my 8-year-old daughter (and me) when he took the time to be sure he spelled out “Genevieve” fully – even though I said he could “just write Gen” because it would be quicker.

Of course, the special memories and what will take me back to the festival again is the discovery of the powerful and pure voices of singers we wouldn¹t otherwise know but who filled the car with song for many years: Elizabeth Hill, Karen Savoca, the Arrogant Worms, to name a few.

Thanks for the chance to smile at the memories.

Just one month until we Stan Rogers and Stanfest fans are back together again!

– L.M.T.

                                                    * * *

We want to hear about your memories of Stanfest and what Stan Rogers' music means to you

This coming Canada Day weekend marks 20 years since the first Stanfest concert was staged in Canso and it’s been a Maritimes mainstay since.

That’s two decades of memories, so let’s share them. Tell us how Stan Rogers’ music affected your life. A hook-up at Stanfest, maybe, that led to matrimony? The biggest fan you’ve ever come across? (Then again, maybe it’s you.) A special moment associated with Stan Rogers that sends a chill, just thinking about it?

And tell us what your favourite Stan Rogers song is, and why it’s so special?

We’d love to see photos, too, from Stanfest over the years.

These are memories that are too good not to share. So let’s get reminiscing.

Email us at Specials@trurodaily.com. We’ll compile the submissions and post them to our website and Facebook for everyone to enjoy.

Recent Stories