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Bill Colgate | when dinosaurs ruled the earth

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Blues: Rockin' Blues Rock: Americana Moods: Solo Male Artist
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when dinosaurs ruled the earth

by Bill Colgate

Lyric driven neoclassic roots rock with a dollop of pop.
Genre: Blues: Rockin' Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Got The Rhythm
3:23 $0.99
2. Stuck Here In The Blues
3:59 $0.99
3. Hockey Night
5:06 $0.99
4. Hate That Train
4:19 $0.99
5. I Will Still Remember You
4:21 $0.99
6. Freight Train Roll
3:01 $0.99
7. Fool Around
2:59 $0.99
8. Please Phone Home
3:14 $0.99
9. Crushed
3:45 $0.99
10. Lake of Bays
5:02 $0.99
11. Let It Be There
3:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
What is a Bill Colgate? Poster boy for mid-life crisis or a somewhat late bloomer? Born in Welland Ontario and raised in Toronto, the arc of Bill’s professional life begins in the early 70’s, fronting such memorable bar bands as Uncle John’s Dirty Secret and The All Star Disco Band (currently residing in the 9th Circle of Hell). It was while playing The Nickleodeon (Ronnie Hawkins’ old “Hawk’s Nest”) that things took a left turn when he was approached by the artistic director of a fledging theatre company with the proposal that he might consider giving acting a try “since you seem to be handling the role oflead singer pretty well”. 20 years later, when he recorded his first CD, Bill had appeared in every aspect of the profession: stage, screen (BIG and small), radio, cartoon and commercial
voice work. He has performed the plays of Shakespeare, Beckett, Shaw and Ibsen but is most often recognized as The Singing Pirate from an episode of the children’s show “Join In” recorded 15 years ago.

Bill has worked with the following names you may recognize: Tommy Lee Jones,John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Diane Keaton, Diane Lane, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber, Matt Dillon, Anthony Edwards, Tia Carrere, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Beau Bridges, Joe Mantegna, Sarah Polley, Kyra Sedgwick and Joanna Cassidy.

While with a small theatre company in Mississauga, Ontario(Cyclos Theatre), the process of osmosis first affected Bill’s artistic life. He discovered that all those years of singing in bar bands had given him an instinctive understanding of song structure. This came in especially handy as he was the only one in the company with any musical background and someone was needed to write original songs for their children’s shows. Thus began Bill’s education in songwriting. It proved to be an excellent training ground. The lyrics had to convey information and “further the plot” while the melody had to engage the
notoriously fickle pre-pubescent audience. It was an apprenticeship that’s advantages far outweighed the one disadvantage of having to “unlearn” a certain didacticism inherentin children’s music as he later struggled to find his own “voice”

This struggle began during an hour long walk Bill would take every summer day from the hamlet of Port Ryerse to the town of Port Dover (where he was appearing at The
Lighthouse Festival Theatre) along The Radical Road. It had been several years since Bill had been required to write a song but, for some reason, that summer they came fast
and furious and, so far, the flood has not abated. Whereas once the osmotic process had flowed from music to theatre, the reverse was now the rule. All the experience Bill
had acquired from his years as an actor — his understanding of imagery, the rhythms of speech, the relationship and responsibilities of performer to audience — informed his
songwriting. He had a foot in both camps. He could stand on the shoulders of the giants, not only of the music he loved (The Band, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen) but of the theatre, whose works he had performed (Shakespeare, Beckett,Ibsen, Shaw).

Bill does not play an instrument. He has too much respect for musicians to call what he does to a harmonica “playing an instrument”. Nevertheless, with his principal musical
collaborator, Cam MacInnes, he has successfully developed techniques for getting what he hears in his head “outta there”. At three critically lauded CDs and counting, it must
be workin’.

Fast forward to today and we have a Bill Colgate who, ironically enough, uses the acting profession as that thing to fall back on if this singer/songwriter gig doesn’t work out. Look out world there’s a not-so-new-kid in town.

Bill has shared the concert stage with the following names you may recognize: Ron Sexsmith, Bobby Wiseman, Kevin Hearn, Sarah Slean, Mia Sheard, Tamara Williamson,
Amos Garrett, The Bills, and, in his bar band days: John Lee Hooker, Chubby Checker, Sha Na Na, Lighthouse and The Stampeders.

Nota Bene

2nd Grand Prize Overall 2002 USA Songwriting Competion; 5th Place Gospel/Inspirational Category John Lennon Songwriting Contest

In May of 2003 Bill showcased in New York City at The Red Lion in Greenwich Village and in Nashville at the world famous Bluebird Cafe.

Bill's song "The Emperor's New Clothes" from his soon-to-be-released sophomore CD "Waiting For Simon" was chosen as a finalist in the 2003 Mountain Stage NewSong Festival.

Bill's song "The Other Woman" was used in the film Landslide starring Anthony Edwards and Joanna Cassidy and was also recorded by Liz Tansey for her debut CD "What I Want".



to write a review

Travis Max

Hell yeah!
Pretty damn cool. Good songwriting and top knotch playing. Reminds me a little of old school Three Day Threshold.

The Toronto Star

A rough growler as convincing as Colgate is a rarity
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
The Toronto Star
March 16, 2002


an album of triumph for an amazing artist
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
A Cultural Arts Magazine
21 September 2002