In the Wood
First it was Roy Rogers and Gene Autry singing cowboy songs on an old, snowy, black and white TV screen; a guy with a guitar singing about life. A few years later Bill's an eight year old kid sitting in the dingy little Mac's Theatre in Winnipeg's West End, eyes wide, watching Elvis rock out in a Saturday matinee. Then came the Beatles and Bob Dylan, Bruce Cockburn and Neil Young. Whether in the smoky Ting Tea Room on Broadway, or a star lit field in the early days of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, people singing their songs have always excited Bill's imagination and moved him toward singing songs of his own. It took some time for him to get there. Besides playing and singing, Bill worked all kinds of jobs; desk jockey and waiter, loading docks and meat packing houses, stage hand and history teacher. But by 1997, Bill finally stepped up to the microphone with some well seasoned songs and a heart ready to sing them. From local coffee houses and Morden's Back 40 Folk Festival, to the West End Cultural Centre and CBC's "Home Made Radio" Stage at the Winnipeg Folk Festival in 1999, as a solo singer/songwriter, or with bands like the Cajun-Celtic Gordie and the Bobz, Bill's songs have been well received; "[Bill's] gravelly voice and charged guitar chords made songs such as 'The Northern Lights Song' and 'In the Wood' ...a delight" Maureen Littlejohn, Wpg. Free press Bill brings his life and maturity to the songs he writes and sings. A blend of folk, rock rhythms and country music, Bill's songs deal with love, life, and spirituality, and overflow with popular appeal. He has garnered praise from several Manitoba artists, such as Hal Brolund, Sam Baardman and Lloyd Peterson, and has been well received by fellow songwriters in the Manitoba Independent Songwriters' Circle. "...a Manitoba songwriter who is making a name for himself on the prairie music scene ... adept at creating songs that are catchy, eloquent, and honest." Sam Baardman, Winnipeg Of Bill's 2008 release, In The Wood"...A highly visual storyteller ... Dowling has that innate ability of a folk singer to be able to pen seemingly simple songs that deeply resonate with a listener." Jen Zoratti, Uptown Magazine "I find writing a wonderful tonic for my soul; a way for me to take in life's wonders, it's injustices, it's terrible beauty. So many people, experiences, events, just seem to crash like waves across our lives, and here we are, desperately trying to cling to a bit of the wreckage, a bit of something to give some order or meaning to this world. Well, the result can be anything; tragic, comic, lovely... I think songwriting is about trying to put things in some perspective, for others and for ourselves."