Genres:Folk, Classical - Romantic Chamber, Alternative Pop, Rock - Roots Rock, Rock - Indie Rock, Rock - Hard Rock/Classic, Rock - Alternative Pop , World - Spanish, Blues - Electric
Since his youth, American guitarist Roger Filgate has played in numerous bands from New York to Los Angeles. A Connecticut native, he was born into a musical family, getting his start from his mother Agathea, a professional classical pianist who concertized throughout the world and founded of the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra (RSO) in 1964. The youngest of four sons, all musicians, Roger took up guitar at age nine. As a young teenager of the late ’70s/early ’80s, he was already performing onstage with his older brother’s bands. He continued performing, plus writing & recording with his own groups throughout his high school years, while winning some band battles along the way. A decade’s more experience of hard knocks gigging and showcasing with his original bands followed in the rock & roll club circuit on both coasts of the U.S. during the 1980’s & early ’90s, opening for acts like Guns & Roses, L.A. Guns.
Having met guitarist Andy Powell of the legendary British rock group Wishbone Ash in 1992 at a Connecticut music store, the two quickly formed a friendship and began collaborating on new music. Invited by Powell to travel with Wishbone throughout 1993, first as a guitar tech, and then again as a live sound engineer, Filgate was later asked to join the band in 1994, as part of a new line-up. Within months he was on the road and recording his first album with the band, Live in Geneva, released in 1995.
The highly regarded studio album, Illuminations, followed in 1996, planting Filgate firmly in the driver’s seat as both guitarist and songwriter. Extensive touring throughout this time also led to sharing the stage with such artists as Uriah Heep, Kansas, Yes, Thin Lizzy, Blue Oyster Cult, Nazareth, and many more. Filgate’s music contributions also appeared on compilation album’s The Best of Wishbone Ash, and Distillation before departing the group in December 1997.
In addition to CDs from original bands Cinema and Blast Room, Roger has also recorded and made live guest appearances with various artists. Among them, the 2007 Top 40 single ‘Knock down the Walls,’ by legendary singer Chubby Checker, which features a notable guitar solo by Filgate.
‘His 2008 solo CD Worlds Within is an all-instrumental album that has received acclaim from such prestigious music magazines and websites as Guitar Player, Vintage Guitar, Music Web Express 3000, Sea of Tranquility, several songs from which have appeared as soundtracks for major networks including A&E’s ‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels’ and Disney/Pixar’s ‘World of Cars’ resulting in sales in more than twenty countries worldwide.
Regarded as a guitar virtuoso, Filgate’s songs showcase the versatility, tones, technique, and passionate playing style for which he is internationally known. Perhaps summed up best by a quote from Vintage Guitar magazine of Filgate and Worlds Within, “Sounds like an army of guitarists at work, not just one… it’s great to hear a record made for guitarists by a guitarist who really knows his craft,” the listener is treated to a sonic journey into classic rock, blues, progressive rock, jazz, classical, country, etc.
Several other instrumental singles & albums followed Worlds Within including a collection of works titled Progressive Collective, which features revised Wishbone Ash tracks from Illuminations. Said of these tracks, “…done in his own instrumental brilliance…Filgate is sure to thrill every guitar player out there.” See the Discography page for complete track listings and details.
In 2013 Filgate teamed up with Chubby Checker once again to play lead & slide guitar on Checker’s most recent Top 40 single called ‘Changes.’ He also contributed the song ‘Strange How Things Come Back Around’ to his former band Wishbone Ash for their 2014 album release Blue Horizon.
Sources: Wikipedia, J.T. Garrard, WishboneAsh.com, Roger Filgate, John Heidt, Scott Itter