Get this crazy baby off my head!


Lester Quitzau

Lester Quitzau - The Same Light - 2009 - Poetical License

"Lester Quitzau's music has the rustic appeal of artists such as Van Morrison and Robbie Robertson, and I find myself appreciating The Same Light even more with repeated listens." - Chip Withrow, Muses Muse

"Quitzau's ... soft but subtly textured voice draws the listener in, and whether he's tackling a Lightnin' Hopkins-style blues("Find My Way Home") or a Bill Frisell-flavoured meditation ("Ferris Wheel"), his less-is-more guitar textures are even more eloquent ... very lovely." - Alexander Varty, Georgia Straight

"Listening to Edmonton expat Lester Quitzau’s latest, you get the sense that there’s nowhere the Juno Award winning roots artist would rather be than at his West Coast home, tending his little corner of earth and making music. Quitzau weaves the two together, offering them up as a panacea for the ills of the world and the loneliness of the road. Two gentle instrumentals, “These Blues” and “Ferris Wheel,” highlight Quitzau’s considerable skill on the acoustic guitar, while “Shape Shifter” plugs in and gives a taste of Quitzau’s blusier origins. Quitzau’s wife Mae Moore (with whom he collaborated on 2004’s Oh My!) is also present, offering her songwriting abilities on “The Only Cure” and lending her beautiful voice to backing vocals on “Let It Shine.” The album wraps with a cover of Pete Seeger’s “To My Old Brown Earth,” bringing it all back to the importance of having a little piece of ground. V " © Scott Harris www.vueweekly.com

I am always amazed at people who do not like gifts of music because, hey, music is one of the best things in the world and when it's free, what's not to like. So when my friend Terry Currier at Portland, Oregon's Music Millennium handed me a copy of Lester Quitzau's The Same Light and I flinched, I was surprised. Me, the guy who eats and sleeps music, flinching at free music? Maybe in an alternate universe. I graciously accepted it and a few other CDs and tucked them under my arm, but the visit was fast and furious and I left without hearing what Terry said about the album, something I was to regret. I do remember he said I'd like it and he is seldom wrong, but Terry is a bit like myself in that he likes most everything, so as far as I knew Quitzau was another of the myriad of blues guitarists or singer/songwriters struggling to be heard but not necessarily within my wavelength. I took it home and stacked it with the others on the corner of the desk and forgot about it for a few weeks. Make that a few months. Oh, I listened. I just didn't listen seriously. Well, I'm listening seriously now and what I'm hearing is damn impressive. There is a calm to Quitzau which takes me back to the early days of solo Eric Clapton and the softer sounds of Mick Taylor, both with a side of mellow. No doubt, Quitzau could amp out some crankin' rock 'n' roll. The guitar is like an extension of his arm, he plays it so well. But that is not his purpose and, just a guess, not his style. Lester Quitzau, unless I miss my guess, is about peace and love and, yes, you can laugh if you want, but he is no caricature. He believes. You can hear it and even feel it in his music. His music. It is definitely his music--- even the somber To My Old Brown Earth, written by Pete Seeger and presented here as a hymn to--- what? Nature? God? It could be either or both. Listening to Quitzau sing, his phrasing delicate and in places tentative, gives one a sense of Nature as Person. This kind of love is what the spiritual feel toward Mother Earth. This kind of love is why we call it Mother Earth in the first place. Ferris Wheel is a delight of steel pan and acoustic guitar. No, it is not island music. It is beautiful music, the guitars (acoustic and electric) trading melody with the steel pan drum in just the right amounts. Laid back, soft, the song is a soft breeze on a sunny afternoon. Wurlitzer piano and superbly arranged brass push The Only Cure to the heights. I mean, is there anything more beautiful than a perfectly played Wurlitzer in a ballad? Not when it's done right. And that brass--- this is background brass, organ-like in depth and a perfect backdrop for some exquisite electric blues licks from Quitzau. That's right, this is blues, my friends, and not just blues but blues from the heart and soul. This could easily have been Clapton at his peak, but it is old Lester, giving us a bone. Quitzau throws in a funk-jam piece to lighten things up a bit, Shape Shifter riding on the rhythm train. At just over six minutes, it could go on forever as far as I'm concerned, the hammond organ and various guitars trading licks when not creating a chorus of instrumental jazz fusion. Very impressive indeed. There is more, but going over every track would sound a bit redundant. They are all good and some downright excellent, Quitsau and co-producer and fellow musician Jody Baker pulling out all the stops. They have an ear, these two, and their choices (both in songs and in the studio) are solid. Lester Quitzau lists four other CDs on the jacket and I can only guess as to why I haven't heard of him. He lives in the wilds of the Canadian Pacific Northwest, grows and eats organic food and plays music. Many might say that he looks like the typical hippie and that might be true, depending upon one's definition. When I was young, I thought that might be a route for myself as well, but life got in the way and I lost my virginity to the military-industrial complex and never looked back. Maybe that's why I get what Quitzau's doing. I sure hear what he's doing and let me tell you, it's worth a trip to his website to check him out. If you like it half as much as do I, you'll end up a fan, too. That's Quitzau (kwit-saw)-comma-Lester. Acoustic & Electric. Soulful, Folk, Blues & Roots Music. I dig it. Also available at Amazon.com, along with a string of other of Lester's fine albums. © Frank O. Gutch Jr. © http://www.rockandreprise.net/quitzau.html

On The Same Light, Lester Quitzau stakes out a landscape where West Coast Folk meets sixties California rock, where tinges of Ben Harper blend with funky steeldrum worldbeat en route to jazz-inflected explorations of Bill Frisell territory, all tied together with a ribbon of deepest blues. The result is a vibrant musical statement of where the Juno Award-winner finds himself today in his tireless journey of creative and personal evolution - a journey that has flowed from blues-drenched bar bands to solo performance to partnerships with the award-winning roots trio Tri-Continental and the internationally acclaimed Mae Moore. Today Lester Quitzau's unique vocals and compositions find him at the forefront of the increasingly celebrated Canadian singer/songwriter tradition, while his improvisational skills as a guitarist see him welcomed on festival stages worldwide. But the common thread throughout The Same Light is this: his uncommon songwriting craftsmanship and the urgent clarity of his message: 'Our current path needs to change for this planet and for the better of all.' - from Album Description © 1995-2010 TOWER.COM INC http://www.tower.com/same-light-lester-quitzau-cd/wapi/113195204

An album of beautifully crafted songs tinged with jazz, blues, soul, soft rock, and roots, and HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy Lester's "A Big Love" album and support great music [All tracks @ 256 Kbps: File size = 82.4 Mb]


1. In Your Arms Again (4:16)
2. The Only Cure (7:15)
3. These Blues (5:45)
4. Find My Way Home (3:53)
5. Ferris Wheel (5:10)
6. Let It Shine (3:55)
7. Shape Shifter (6:04)
8. To My Old Brown Earth (4:25)
9. Free Frogs (Bonus Track) (3:11) N.B: This "secret track" contains 1 minute of silence and 2 minutes of frog noises", is totally unnecessary, and adds nothing to the quality of the album

All songs composed by Lester Quitzau except "The Only Cure" by Mae Moore, "Shape Shifter" by Lester Quitzau, Rick May, Joby Baker and "To My Old Brown Earth" by Pete Seeger


Lester Quitzau - Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Slide Guitar, Dobro, Steel Drums, Percussion, Harmony, Vocals
Joby Baker - Electric & Acoustic Bass, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer, Piano, Drums, Steel Drums, Percussion, Shaker, Tambourine, Vocals, Background Vocals
Rick May - Acoustic Bass
Brooke Maxwell - Tenor Sax
Alfons Fear - Trumpet
Nick Lariviere - Trombone
Mae Moore - Background Vocals


One of the best things to happen to Canadian music in the past ten years has been the combination of circumstances that led to Lester Quitzau’s finding a Gulf Island sanctuary to engage and sustain his soul- a home and place of grounding that has empowered him to offer the world one of the most unique and highly charged musical statements of recent years. While this refers specifically to The Same Light, his latest CD, it is every bit as much about who he is as a human being. Lester really does find fulfilment in gathering a hen’s fresh eggs, and he really does have musical roots so deep he can craft a musical cloth that quilts together ringing peals of West African-sounding guitar with the feel of free-form jazz, threaded through with unmistakable strands of gutbucket blues, yet all interwoven with lyrics and songs of love and spirit that display more mastery and a deeper vision with each passing year. Touchstones along the route that brought the Juno-Award-winner to where he stands today include his work with fellow Tri-Continentals, Bill Bourne and Madagascar Slim, and his collaboration with Mae Moore. But the story really starts with his Edmonton childhood, an older brother, the all-important family stereo, and what Louis Armstrong used to refer to as “big ears”- a deep and insatiable curiosity about just how those cool sounds got themselves into those 12” slices of black vinyl…. and what it might take to one day make those sounds himself. The rest was just a matter of time. It was the sixties. Edmonton was a solidly blue-collar town, and rock and roll was its musical lifeblood. There was a guitar already in the house (his mom’s acoustic), his older brother turned him on to the likes of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, and by the time he was 15 Lester was rocking out on his own electric guitar. Before long his “big ears” discovered the same blues roots that had influenced Zeppelin and the other Brit rockers. Edmonton’s Ambassador Hotel booked the cream of Chicago blues and Lester heard them all- John Lee Hooker, James Cotton, Jimmy Rogers- as well as great Canadian acts like Downchild, Dutch Mason, and David Wilcox. At that same time Lester hooked up with fellow Canadian snowboarding pioneer Ken Achenbach, got heavily into the then-emerging sport and was dividing his time between the smoky blues bars of Edmonton and the pristine air of the Rockies, where he emerged as one of Canada’s genuine snowboarding pioneers. His skills as a competitor not only merited him team sponsorship, he even placed fifth in the premier international event of the 1985 season, on a board without steel edges. Pursuing both, music and snowboarding proved difficult, so Lester choose music and by the late 80’s was performing with a rocking blues trio called The Slipping Lizards. The Lizards were popular in Edmonton, but the hard-partying lifestyle that seemed to come with that popularity wore thin. The band soon split and Lester continued with a band called The Yard Dogs. The Yard Dogs were blues players too, but their approach was subtler, and offered Lester an opportunity to mature musically with the crucial addition of a spiritual dimension. Their bass player, Farley Scott, was especially influential- Lester likens his mentorship to that of a Zen Master. In 1993 Lester left Edmonton’s urban blues/rock scene behind and relocated to British Columbia’s West Kootenay region, only to return to Edmonton shortly thereafter to continue his music apprenticeship. His first album, Keep On Walking, was released later that year. Elemental (stripped-down, funky) and all-acoustic in its approach to the blues, its return to basics mirrored the return to simpler values he was learning to embody in his own lifestyle. It was followed by A Big Love in 1996, an album that initially surprised listeners expecting a second instalment of Keep On Walking’s straight-ahead acoustic blues. What they got instead was practically a 180-degree departure- where the first CD celebrated the traditional, the new one was mostly electric. And although the music was still blues-based, the album embraced experimentation and the wealth of possibilities an artist with Lester’s talents could offer. The arrangements were multi-layered and often lush- effectively supporting and showcasing his arrival at a stronger and more confident level of songwriting. His audience grew with the release of A Big Love, as did his stature among critics, resulting in his first Juno Award nomination. Over the next five years Lester was discovered by an ever-widening international audience, primarily through his year-in, year-out touring on the folk/roots (and jazz and blues) festival circuits. The Lester Quitzau Band (Andy Graffiti, Brett Miles, Chris Byrne, Rob Vause, and Jason Cairns) set out in 1996 in support of A Big Love, and for the first time he experienced the enthusiasm and respect of discerning European audiences. But wherever he toured, as a band leader, as a solo artist, or with his Very Electric Trio (Lyle Molzan and Greg Johnson), his reputation expanded as his roots within the world music community deepened. Two particularly significant results of that growth process were: his partnering with Bill Bourne and Madagascar Slim to form Tri-Continental, one of the biggest acts on today’s world music stage (and the source of his first Juno Award win), and his magical meeting, collaboration with, and marriage to celebrated singer/songwriter Mae Moore in 2002. The first years of this decade produced a flurry of CD releases. The first of them, So Here We Are, (“An absolutely stellar record”, Cathy Inis, CKUA radio network). Still bluesy (don’t bother trying to find a nastier, more fundamentals-drenched version of “Rollin’ and Tumblin’”- you won’t- anywhere), it still managed to balance that mastery of basics with a striking display of maturing writing and musical chops. Like A Big Love, the album got great reviews and sold well (including through its European distribution). Oh My, his collaboration with Mae Moore, was released in 2003 and met with similar success (including a West Coast Music Awards nomination). It clearly occupies a special space in Lester’s heart, and not just for romantic reasons or the obvious strengths such a partnership could draw from. "That album was cool for both of us because it challenged us in new ways - for me to stretch out more as a vocalist, and for Mae to expand what she was willing to explore as a guitarist.” With Tri-Continental also releasing four successful albums over the same period, it’s not surprising that by 2006 it was time to step back and take a well-earned breath. It’s dizzying simply trying to sort out the routes and combinations of personnel Lester toured with between 2001 and 2006. They include destinations from Victoria to the Czech Republic, and alternate between Tri-Continental tours, tours with Mae, the Very Electric Trio, Lester solo, Lester’s band- you get the picture…. So Lester did take a bit of a breath, and it has stretched out for nearly three years now- a time in which Lester and Mae have finally been able to live their dream of a committed and sustainability-based relationship with their Gulf Island homestead. There is a different rhythm in his life today, slower, more reflective, but certainly no less musical at its heart. This is the music that finds such powerful expression in The Same Light, his newest CD, released early in 2009. It’s a culmination of his years spent re-connecting with the land, but it’s also a reflection of some serious musical wood-shedding and soul searching done over that same period. The CD flows naturally from blues to ballads to truly inventive jazz improvisations. It is hard to imagine a more perfect summing-up of who Lester Quitzau is today. © lester quitzau 2008 http://www.lesterq.com/bio/bio


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w is aoofc

flyra said...

this is truly an amazing album from start to finish.
i can't stop listening to it.

A.O.O.F.C said...

HNY,Flyra! You have good taste in music! Thanks a million, & TTU soon...P

Anonymous said...

Happy new year for you.
How are you?.
Tell me...track 9 requires different password????
Because when i use WinRar... appears....(Track 9 incorrect password.)

A.O.O.F.C said...

SOME PEOPLE MAY HAVE DIFFICULTY D/LOADING TRACK 9. Here's a link to the worthless track


A.O.O.F.C said...

HNY,MR.B. There's a link above for that track. Why it's included on album is a mystery to me! Croak! Croak! TVM, & TTU soon...P

Anonymous said...

Yeah...you right about track 9.
One more time thanks a lot.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Mr.B.! No probs. Thanks, & keep in touch...P

Miles said...

if i am to believe the reviewers words, as well those who have commented, then i'm in for a treat with this music. thank you for the introduction. I hope it lives up to its promise.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Miles. I think it's a great album...very slow moving, but one to savour. Thanks, & TTU soon...P