Edgar Breau is a singer/songwriter, recording artist and founder of Canada's legendary cult band, Simply Saucer. Their groundbreaking recording, Cyborgs Revisited (1974), ignored in it's time but critically acclaimed after it's 1989 belated release was a heady mixture of raw angular guitar with sonic electronics which brought to mind the pulsing rhythms of the Velvet Underground combined with the pop sensibilties of Syd Barrett era Pink Flyod with a dash of Detroit rock ala The Stooges/MC5 thrown in for good measure. The band is still current, touring and recording.
After the premature demise of Simply Saucer in 1979, Edgar purchased a hand made guitar fashioned by one Grit Laskin (who's instruments are now featured the Canadian Museum of Civilization) and influenced by American guitar icon John Fahey's compositions, reinvented himself as a open tuning/finger style singer songwriter and began gigging solo, perfecting his songwriting craft and returning to some early influences such as Ray Davies, Gordon Lightfoot, Lightnin' Hopkins, Fred Neil and Tim Hardin among many others.
In 1989, Edgar recorded 11 songs at Grant Avenue Studios in Hamilton Ontario which was founded by Bob and Daniel Lanois. Aided by Simply Saucer bassist Kevin Christoff, veteran drummer Paul Panchezak, harmony vocalist Compton Roberts and elec gtr player Jeff Bakalar, the recordings were in stark contrast to the more raw sound of Simply Saucer, Breau changing it up to a more cool, arranged psychedelic/jazz/folk sound. These recordings are available for the first time on CD Baby under the title of Shadows of Ecstasy.
Patches of Blue, is Edgar Breau's latest project and displays the same genre crossing abilities as his prior works. Twelve songs, that range from the haunting title track, Patches of Blue to the soul pop of Open Road to the jazz pop elegance of Maria the Sea and the Sun. Breathtaking panoramic ability considering that UNCUT Mag UK recently called Edgar Breau a 'prophetic punk visionary'. You can also expect to hear Americana offerings like Pennsylvania, Dreams of Kerouac and She Love Me like a Train. The final track Dandelion Kingdom has a decidedly Brit psyche/folk lilt to it with some orchestration reminscent of the Fab Four. Bluesy Cry Bitter Rain and soul/funk One Kind of Love drip with emotion and dazzling back up vocals by the legendary Ms. Colina Phillips, a mainstay on the Toronto recording scene as an A-list session singer for many years. The influences proudly displayed in his Simply Saucer catalogue remain firmly in place on Rainmakin' Man and Simcoe County Country Girl, which unbelievably dates back to the notorios live Simply Saucer show at Jackson Square Mall In Hamilton On, 1975 though in somewhat altered form. Girl on a Carousel, is a bit of Brazil 66 pop with lovely call and response incantations by the ever soulful Ms. Phillips and Edgar.
Oh and a word about the lineup! Consisting of the creme de la creme of Southern Ontario session musicians, including Bill Dillon on elec 12 string gtr, elec 6 string gtr, slide gtr and fiddle, Bill has recorded with some of the greatest names in music incl. Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Robbie Robertson many others.
Brian Grifith has worked with Daniel Lanois, Willie Nelson amongst others. Colina Phillips has sung on recordings by Bruce Cockburn, Alice Cooper, Anne Murray, r&b artists like July Black and Charity Brown. The bass playing is amply taken care of by long time Simply Saucer bassist, Kevin Christoff and the standup bass by another Simply Saucer alumni Chris Jamieson. Former Killjoys, vocalist Mike Trebilcock added some very creative harmony vocals to the mix and Toronto veteran keyboard player Ed Roth added keys and orchestration. For those of you who follow garage band history Ed played at one time in the Ugly Ducklings, a sixties Cdn band who's sound was compared to the Pretty Things and the Rolling Stones.
Produced by Michael Birthelmer, who cut his teeth at Grant Avenue Studios as a producer/engineer during the Lanois era, Patches of Blue is the first fully realized studio recording by Edgar Breau and a significant and auspicious addition to an already fascinating career. Availabe on Flying Inn Recordings on CD Baby, as a digital download and in superior music stores.