Songs Of The Iron Trail Celebrates Canada’s Colorful History

Canada is home to a vibrant culture with a rich and colorful past. But few would have probably thought that one of its most ardent champions would be a psychology professor with a talent for music. Dr. Tim Rogers had been a professor at the University of Calgary since 1970, but music has always been close to his heart. In fact, throughout his tenure at Calgary–where he worked in the General Studies, Fine Arts, as well as Psychology departments–Rogers remained firmly committed to the research and performance of traditional music.

 Now the good professor’s passion has born fruit in a project that is the culmination of long years of research, study, and sheer love of Albertan traditional and country music. The project is a CD of songs were recorded decades ago and released as a compilation called Songs of the Iron Trail.

 Professor Rogers’s intense passion for this distinctive Canadian music is apparent when talking to him about the CD re-release of Songs of the Iron Trail. Emphasizing the depth of history imbued in the material, Rogers calls attention to how much of the country’s identity is enmeshed in these songs. With songs dating back to the dawn of Canada’s history such as The Wreck of the Evening Mail, Hobo’s Song to the Mounties, and The Hudson Bay Line, the compilation offers a rare glimpse of the country’s colorful past in a way that will surely tug at the hearts of everyone who hears it.

 Professor Rogers apparently isn’t the only one enamored of Songs of the Iron Trail. Shortly after the release of the CD, it had managed to attract the favorable attention of a number of teachers, scholars, and music lovers from Calgary and the surrounding areas. In fact, one of the songs in the compilation–Drill Ye Tarriers, Drill–has been chosen as the theme for Glenbow Museum’s Mavericks exhibit. The exhibit itself was developed from a book written about the history of Alberta by Aritha van Herk, also a University of Calgary professor.

 Songs of the Iron Trail wasrecorded with the help of Barry Luft, Grit Laskin, Patty Rogers and Roy Warhurst. Expressing gratitude at the opportunity to have these songs heard by a wider audience, Rogers remains committed to celebrating the country’s rich and fascinating tradition by way of its music.