Roger Roger headlines Winnipeg Folk Festival

It’s not every day you open up a festival you’ve been attending your entire life. For local folk sibling duo Roger Roger, that dream became a reality Thursday night at the Winnipeg Folk Festival (WFF).

Like many local musicians vying for a spot on the main stage lineup, Lucas and Madeleine Roger started playing on the Shady Grove stage as part of the Stingray Young Performers (SYP) program.

“It was really surreal to be facing the other direction this time,” said Madeleine Roger.

To add to the special moment, the twins had their father, co-owner of Paintbox Recording, Lloyd Peterson join them on stage. As a producer, engineer and musician, Peterson’s influence on the local music scene is undeniable. Peterson has also spent time at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, bringing his children to the festival for many years.

“We were surrounded by music a lot because of his work,” said Madeleine.

The twins said that his work exposed them to an array of Manitoban musicians who practiced and worked on their own records in the Peterson household. Roger Roger first started performing at the WFF in 2014 and continued to perform for the next two years.

“It was huge because when we did it the first time, it was one of our first real shows,” said Lucas.

This year, they shared the stage with another young performer turned main-stage feature, Micah Erenberg.

“I’ve been playing shows with Micah forever,” said Lucas. “It’s really cool that we’re on the same bill.”

Erenberg even had a hand in helping Roger Roger pick their name leading up to their first SYP showcase.

“I kind of said ‘Roger Roger’ as a joke, and then Lucas was like ‘that’s great,’” said Madeleine.

“I texted Micah and he was like ‘yes, that’s great’,” Lucas added.

In addition to adding ‘played main stage’ to their musical resumés, Erenberg and Lucas have worked together in other musical capacities.

“Lucas and I did a guitar building class together and now he’s a professional luthier and I haven’t built a guitar since,” Erenberg joked. “I was like ‘I’ll focus on music, you focus on guitar building,’ but now he’s also playing Folk Fest, so he just doubled up on me.”

Even though Erenberg may not be the luthier that Lucas is, there is still no doubt of the positive impression that he has left on Roger Roger.

“I’ve always admired Micah a lot,” said Lucas.

With a little help from their friends and family, Lucas and Madeleine Roger have developed a sound that has brought them from their father’s recording studio to the main stage at the Winnipeg Folk Festival.