Musician / Composer / Producer / Engineer
Since his youth, American guitarist Roger Filgate has played in numerous bands from New York to Los Angeles. A Connecticut native, he was born on December 18th, 1965 into a musical family, getting his start from his mother Agathea, a professional classical pianist who concertized throughout the world and founded the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra (RSO) in 1965. The youngest of four sons, all musicians, Roger took up guitar at age nine. As a young teen, he was already playing onstage with his older brother’s bands during the late '70s. Performing, writing & recording continued with his own groups throughout his high school years, while also winning a few 'battle of the bands' 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. from the early ’80s - early ’90s, opening for acts like Guns & Roses and 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 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 touring and already recording his first album with the group, Live in Geneva, which was 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 world touring also led to his sharing the stage with such classic artists as Uriah Heep, Kansas, Yes, Thin Lizzy, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Blue Oyster Cult, Nazareth, America, 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 album releases 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 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...“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 albums and singles followed Worlds Within, including a collection of works titled Progressive Collective, featuring revised Wishbone Ash tracks from Illuminations. Said of these tracks in a review by Dr. Music..."Done in his own instrumental brilliance…Filgate is sure to thrill every guitar player out there."
See the LISTEN / BUY MUSIC page links 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 composed and contributed the song ‘Strange How Things Come Back Around’ in 2014 for Wishbone Ash's latest album Blue Horizon.
Most recently, for the summer of 2015 is the newly released epic instrumental track 'Pink Flamenco'.
Contributing Sources: Leon Tsilis, Wishbone Ash, Wikipedia, Ryan Sparks, J.T. Garrard, Roger Filgate, John Heidt, Scott Itter.