Tri Continental
With 4 Juno Awards and 10 Juno Award nominations between them, Bill Bourne, Lester Quitzau and Madagascar Slim are truly major players in the Canadian music scene. The artists are all close friends and the artistic respect for one another is evident when listening to the music which they have composed. Each musician has established himself as a respected artist in such musical genres as Folk, Celtic and World, but they all share an extreme passion for, and knowledge of, the blues. Sweet vocal harmonies and imaginative guitar playing are the hallmark of their music. With a mutual love of emotional collaboration and a great curiosity for where their music comes from, this trio of artists has created a body of work that is a product of faith, dreams, broken hearts, grit and most importantly, friendship.

Tri Continental

“Never change a winning team“ – this truism from the world of sports could well be applied to the fourth release by Canada’s blues/roots/world trio Tri-Continental. Just like the album’s predecessor “Let’s Play”, 'Drifting' was recorded in Germany and for their new recording project the trio again invited Indian percussion master Ramesh Shotham to participate. Following his stints with artists and ensembles as diverse as Karnataka College of Percussion, Dissidenten, Embryo, Carla Bley and Rabi Abou-Khalil, Ramesh Shotham now seems to be a regular guest of Lester Quitzau, Bill Bourne and Madagasgar Slim. Drifting is a classic term from the world of blues lyrics. It should not be taken as an indication for indecision, however. Quite the opposite is true, in fact. Tri-Continental came up with a special plan for recording their fourth album. They invited a small audience of friends and fans to the Alien Style Studio in Bremen, Germany - and proceeded to capture nine new songs on tape. All performed on one single evening and combining the directness and spontaneity of a live performance with the technical advantages of a professional studio environment. The concept of democracy is still very much at the heart of the band’s philosophy on 'Drifting'. Two new songs by Bourne and Quitzau each, one new original song by Slim and a bunch of covers that stand as a testament to the band’s great love for the tradition and their respective influences. An excellent example of Tri-Continental’s capacity of blending their various styles and techniques into a new whole that sounds organic and relaxed.

Tri Continental Lets Play

Here, Madagascar Slim, Bill Bourne and Lester Quitzau have again cooked up a wonderfully universal musical gumbo with many different ingredients. Their unique acoustic/electric style mixes blues, folk, songs, and various world beat strands and they also introduce a special guest: Ramesh Shotham, the Indian percussion master from Cologne. He adds to the "groove" factor of the music in many different ways. This group brings together individual talent and then creates the one quality that is indispensable for every musician — an individual and original sound. Those who have grown to love this sound — and those who want to finally discover it for themselves — will not be disappointed by LET’S PLAY.

Tri Continental Tri Continental

Released August 2000

Tracks 1, 5 & 10 written by Lester Quitzau
Tracks 3, 7 & 11 written by Ben Randriamananjara
Tracks 2, 4, 6, 8 & 9 written by Bill Bourne

Lester Quitzau : vocals, slide, acoustic and electric guitars, kalimba
Bill Bourne : vocals, acoustic guitar, fiddle
Madagascar Slim : vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, valiha
Isaak Kojo : background vocals, percussion
Joe Dunphy : drum

Recorded November 1999 and January 2000 at West Lodge Sound, Toronto, Ontario
Engineer: Joe Dunphy, assisted by Lorne Hounsell
Mixed by Lester Quitzau and Joe Dunphy
Mastered by Joao Carvalho at Umbrella Sound