Bill Colgate
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Bill Colgate

Baysville, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Baysville, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Bill Colgate at Home County Folk Festival"

Bill Colgate, a name you might not know but you should because he is an excellent, excellent singer/songwriter. - James Reaney - London Free Press

"Bill Colgate's "boomer bust""

Bill Colgate has a voice that sounds lived in, possibly even squatted in by tramps for a while. It's the perfect voice for barstool philosophy and "boomer bust", Colgate's third album, is full to overflowing with the wisdom you only reach after midight and several beers have passed.
Matt Hutchinson - americana uk

""boomer bust""

"boomer bust" by Bill Colgate and The Urbane Guerillas is an extremely exciting album without any cliches anywhere.
John Gjaltema -

"when dinosaurs ruled the earth"

"Bill Colgate might not have the cure for cancer, but his honest, soulful songwriting has the potential to heal a world suffering from insipid popular music.
While Colgate's songs mainly seem to fall into a country/gospel vein, there is genuine rock there too, plus a good dash of blues and jazz. The mix of Colgate's husky, expressive, Tom Waits-style voice and pastoral, melodic piano a la Bruce Hornsby, with a strong, blue-collar Springsteen feel (the Boss is mentioned by name in one of the songs) creates a unique listening experience.
Colgate scores with both uptempo and slower material. "Stuck Here in the Blues" and "Freight Train Roll" both feature tight, funky grooves that make you want to dance, while "Hockey Night" evokes feelings of regret and loss of innocence and "Hate That Train" has a passionate angst for love lost that is guaranteed to make even the most jaded listener stop and think...I thoroughly enjoyed this CD and hope to hear more from Bill Colgate in short order."
David Lockeretz - Muse's Muse

"waiting for simon"

Toronto actor- turned-award-winning singer/songwriter Bill Colgate's impressive roots rock debut a couple of years ago - songs from "when dinosaurs ruled the earth" won top prizes in the prestigious USA Songwriting Competition and The John Lennon Songwriting Contest and led to showcase appearances in New York and Nashville - served notice of the arrival of an important and committed new talent on the Canadian independent music scene.
Colgate's sophomore effort is a mature set of largely accoustic, folk based story songs marked by a literate wit (the comicallysardonic
"The Emporor's New Clothes" was a finalist in last year's Mountain Stage New Song Festival in the U.S.), whimsy and more than a touch of melancholy. Co-produced by multi-instrumentalist Cam MacInnes and Bob Cobban and featuring drummer David Norris, primo bassist David Woodhead and a bevy of local specialists (singers Kim Cole and Liz Tansey, accordionist and string arranger David Matheson, Steve Goldberger and Joe Ingrao on Hammond B3)
"waiting for simon" benefits from the sense of drama inherent in Colgate's compelling and distinctive vocal style, and from several remarkably well crafted songs, among which "The Grace Of You", "I Don't Know A Soul In Toronto Tonight" and "Not Another Song About The Rain" are spectacular standouts. - Greg Quill - Toronto Star

""dinosaurs" an album of triumph"

when dinosaurs ruled the earth by Toronto singer Bill Colgate, is an album of triumph for an amazing artist that was born deaf in his right ear. Colgate’s debut effort is a collection of 11 songs that combine roots rock with the sound of a bar band. His music also has it’s roots in jazz, gospel, and R&B. My favourite track is “Let It Be There” because this is an upbeat, somewhat biographical song about hope and never forgetting where one has come from. Another favourite is the lead track “I Got The Rhythm” which effortlessly demonstrates lyrical prowess in addition to his musical ability. Furthermore, both tracks demonstrate the influences of the above-mentioned musical styles on Colgate’s own musical creations. All I all, Colgate’s strong voice, his powerful lyrics, and his musical style make when dinosaurs ruled the earth a wonderful album to listen to over and over again. This is truly a debut album that one can enjoy. - Melissa Kowalewski -



Ex-actor excels in U.S. competition

Canadian roots music got a big boost late last week when Toronto songwriter Bill Colgate and Winnipeg's James Keelaghan took top prizes in the gospel and folk categories respectively of the prestigious USA Songwriting Competition.

Colgate, who turned from acting a couple of years ago to pursue a career in music, and has released just one album of original songs, when dinosaurs ruled the earth, was also named second overall winner in the competition, which this year attracted 32,000 entries in 15 categories and bills itself as "the world's leading international songwriting competition" with more than $60,000 U.S. in prizes.

The competition is administered by Lion Heart Productions, which founded the event in 1996 to give songwriters exposure and recognition. It is judged by a panel of industry experts, including artist managers and major record company representatives

"I had no idea I was in the running," said Colgate at his home in Etobicoke. "As an independent singer-songwriter just starting out in the business at the tender age of 50, I'm always throwing stuff at walls, hoping something will stick. I applied last March after reading about the competition on the Maplepost folk music Internet newsgroup, and thought it sounded legitimate in terms of its size and profile, organization, sponsors and prizes. It was also reasonably inexpensive to enter, and after I submitted my song, I forgot about it.

"I've learned after 20 years as an actor that if you worry about the auditions you do, you can go crazy."

Colgate's winning song, "Let It Be There", is not a religious song, he says, but it seemed appropriate for the gospel category because of the gospel-style arrangement by Toronto guitarist/composer Ralph Cole - a founding member of Lighthouse - who produced when dinsosaurs ruled the earth, a roots-rock album that showcases Colgate's R'n'B-flavoured originals and powerful growl.

He wins $2,000 U.S. for topping the gospel category, and $7,000 for the "overall second best in show prize," he said.

Keelaghan's and Colgate's awards come with showcasing opportunities in the U.S. at such venues as Nashville's Bluebird Café, and airplay on the internationally syndicated U.S. radio program Acoustic Café.

"There's also a compilation CD of category winners that will be distributed to radio stations, and meetings with major-league artist managers and music publishers," said Colgate. - Greg Quill - Toronto Star

"A Wonderfully Subtle Materpiece"

If one of the great injustices I face here everyday is subjecting myself to brilliance that will never get the recognition it deserves, then Bill Colgate is the poster boy. With WAITING FOR SIMON, this Toronto actor/singer/songwriter delivers a wonderfully subtle masterpiece of troubadouria that glistens more with each additional play. The songs are character driven and story-told in the best folk tradition, and so vivid that the listener is transported. The first time I heard the title track, I was driving alone on the highway and damn it if I didn’t have to pull over to listen to the last verse to ensure that Simon indeed showed up (he doesn’t – and its heartbreaking). Colgate’s husky yet remarkably tuneful vocal style is the perfect pen to illustrate these vignettes, and the stark accompaniment by multi-instrumentalist Cam MacInnes (among others – a who’s who of Toronto talent) provides the perfect canvas. WAITING FOR SIMON is still in my car CD changer, at least until Colgate’s next outing, which better be soon. - Shael Risman - RismixLive

"when dinosaurs ruled"

Toronto songwriter and actor Bill Colgate is a proud survivor of 1970s roots rock, the gospel-tinged and rhythm 'n' blues kind practised by Bob Seger and John Mellencamp in their prime.

Assisted by veteran producers and arrangers Ralph Cole (Lighthouse) and Ray Parker, this relative unknown has managed to put together a dynamite band of top-notch Toronto studio players - guitarist Mike Francis, bassist Tom Szczesniak, drummer Brian Leonard and Parker on keyboards. They do wonders with Colgate's muscular compositions, jangly ballads, and straight -from-the-cuff narratives.

A rough growler as convincing as Colgate is a rarity. when dinosaurs ruled the earth is a polished, assertive first effort. - Greg Quill - Toronto Star

"When Bill Colgate Ruled The Dobro"

Great Canadian singer/songwriter Bill Colgate gave an outstanding performance...Along with Cam MacInnes and a stellar band of players, Colgate brought down the house with his acoustic, folk based story songs that have won him countless awards, including the USA Songwriting Competition and The John Lennon Songwriting Contest. - Snap Peterborough


boomer bust 2007
waiting for simon 2004
when dinosaurs ruled the earth 1996



If a “cadre” is a dedicated group with a common objective, then Toronto-based band Cadre is certainly all those things – and much more. Based around the award-winning “uprooted roots” songs of singer/actor Bill Colgate and the wildly inventive slide playing of guitarist/producer Cam MacInnes, Cadre’s groove-filled tunes provide the perfect emotional bedrock for Colgate’s musings on life, love, Dante’s Inferno and fine-tooled leather. Equally at home on the festival stage or in the studio, the music of Cadre has (as one music critic noted) “the potential to heal a world suffering from insipid popular music.”

Band Members