Charlie Loesel
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Charlie Loesel

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF
Band Blues Singer/Songwriter


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"Tales From Life On The Road With A Talented Seattle Songwriter"

Singer-Songwriter Charlie Loesel spent over six years living as a modern day troubadour, touring the country in his Westfalia VW Camper. As one might expect from such a journey, he had more than his fair share of experiences along the way. Chronicling these experiences in song, his debut release Westfalia tells the tales of this time with a dry wit and a natural expression in a variety of Americana styles.

Loesel delivers the music on Westfalia via pointed vocal phrasings that are reminiscent of RANDY NEWMAN blended with the raspy baritone of JOHN HIATT. The riffs of “Nothing to Lose” ring like old-timey jazz music, while the upbeat country-rock sound of “Casino” shows more groove and a bit more grit. “Cover My Tracks” is a delightful midtempo ballad, illustrating Loesel’s delicate mastery of both his voice and guitar. The horn arrangements and vibraphone on “Too Late to Die Young” show Loesel in a funky and fun setting. The record ends with the upbeat “Jack Daniels and Johnny Cash,” a song that gives thanks to the great country singer for his musical influence. Loesel has enlisted some amazing support for Westfalia, including top studio players Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan), Clifford Carter (James Taylor), Andy Snitzer (Paul Simon), and Shawn Pelton (Sheryl Crow).

Charlie Loesel’s journey began in his hometown of Traverse City, MI. Originally working as a computer programmer, in his late 20s he had a change of heart and took to following his dream of music. He spent several years playing around the state before hitting the road in the iconic camper. Making many stops along the way, including longer stays in Austin, Charlottesville, and Fort Lauderdale, Loesel eventually settled in Seattle, where he is currently based.


Please check out Charlie Loesel’s debut release Westfalia (enclosed) and let us know what you think. If you have any questions, comments or would like to set up an interview don’t hesitate to contact Rob Phillips at Powderfinger Promotions. You can learn more about Charlie Loesel and see his latest show dates on his website at
- Powderfinger Promotions

"Charlie Loesel - Westfalia"

Charlie Loesel has just released a well recorded, catchy collection of songs. Westfalia is the model of a Volkswagon camper—a familiar musician haunt. ‘Twenty Friends’ is a nice toe tapper—it’s not deep but the spirit is fun and guitar work is interesting and solid. ‘Nothing to Lose’ starts with nice guitar rhythm riffs. “Nothing but lovin’ for you…” is just how this song rolls along. I’m sure we are getting a glimpse of the happy go lucky Loesel. ‘Casino’ continues

with more of a rock beat. Loesel brings in piano, organ and electric guitar in momentary but punctual statements. The other musicians are adept at what they do: Larry Campbell, Andy Snitzer, Clifford Carter and Shawn Pelton. Life in the church of the big casino is not so pure, “..blood spilled on the ground.” ‘Cover My Tracks’ is solid, “I hear you callin’ but I can’t turn back.” ‘Made it Myself’ is a bit on the Tom Wait’s style of clever, and somewhat enigmatic poetry. This is my favorite of the bunch for both the production and interesting imagery. ‘Too Late to Die Young’ is another example of Loesel’s individuality. The songs can sound somewhat familiar, but he doesn’t take the easy line or rhyme. ‘Closer to Me’, opened by retro electric guitar, is a nice love song, “won’t you stand, stand closer to me.” ‘Jack Daniels and Johnny Cash’ is as catchy as early Dylan’s electrically driven songs. Overall, these songs hang together quite well. You would enjoy rocking out in an evening with Charlie Loesel. [J.W. McClure] - Victory Music

"Charlie Loesel - Westfalia"

"And we all thought 2010 was an exceptional year for great music. We are barely three months away and it keeps raining here but good releases. We were frankly not familiar with the American singer-songwriter Charlie Loesel. The man on "Westfalia", the name of the album and also the reference to the Volkswagen Camper model, which he touring, an excellent collection of songs presents, however, amply deserves our attention and yours He collected clean, better known, people around him like Larry Campbell and Clifford Carter on his debut and brings eight zelfgepende numbers somewhere between folk and blues lie.

Do not expect earthquake, these are simple quietly rippling songs here and there do seem to be familiar. This is only apparent and probably due to the fact that the man's voice sometimes reminiscent of Randy Newman. Sometimes, perhaps too many variations on the same musical theme. But solid melodies, technically perfect, but charged. Too much attention to the lyrics and that's something we continue to find important. It has occasionally something from Tom Waits clever writing style, you know that poetic way that you must solve the riddle and smiling afterwards the master of the definition should recognize.

There are no real outliers on the album but our personal favorite is the closing track "Jack Daniels and Johnny Cash" not coincidentally, the song where the most variation occupants and the excellent arrangements reminiscent of the young Dylan. We have a few less songs for the horns that sometimes too much in the foreground sound. The rest is a good, balanced listening album became warm on cold winter evenings a great ally. "For this record, I wanted to make a collection of songs that had full production on themself but Could Also be overplayed solo" Charlie tells himself there and we are inclined to add that it would become an even stronger album than it already is." - Rootstime

"Travels with Charlie Loesel"

Patrick Ivory

Travels with Charlie :Singer/songwriter brings songs of the road back home
By Pat Ivory
It’s been a long trip for singer/songwriter Charlie Loesel, from playing next to the salad bar at Blondie’s roadhouse diner out on Chum’s Corner in Traverse City years ago, to releasing his own recording with session musicians from bands that backed Bob Dylan, James Taylor and Paul Simon.
Loesel, who now lives in Seattle, will make it a full circle with a homecoming performance as Sleder’s Tavern in TC on Sunday, November 28, at 4 p.m.
Loesel grew up in Traverse City and graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in electrical engineering. After working a couple of years as a computer programmer in Chicago, he joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Africa.
When Loesel returned he got a job working as recording engineer for Sony Classical in New York City. It involved recording symphonies with people like Wynton Marsalis and Yo Yo Ma at the Lincoln Center.
“Being around some great musicians, I realized I wanted to set my compass for something in music,” Loesel says. “And it wasn’t being a recording engineer for 20 years. I really wanted to perform. I lived in West Africa with the Peace Corps with essentially nothing, and I was just as happy. I realized the most important thing to do is what I have passion for.”

When the recording job ended in New York City, Loesel then moved back to Traverse City and started taking lessons from local jazz pro Ron Getz. Loesel explored a wide variety of musical styles. In addition to his initial gig at Blondie’s, he played jazz at Windows Restaurant and Chateau Chantal. He also started a Celtic band called Smash the Windows and played in blues and rock bands at Lil’ Bo and Union Street Station.
Loesel had a clearer sense of direction after he attended a master class taught by guitarist extraordinaire Leo Kottke at Northwestern Michigan College.
“He played so wonderfully and was so damn funny,” Loesel recalls. “He wasn’t too sappy, he wasn’t asking too much of the audience. He was the first person I had seen doing a singer/songwriter thing that I wanted to emulate.”
After developing considerable chops on the guitar in a short period of time, Loesel began playing and moving all over the country in his Volkswagen Westfalia van. Over a six-year period he played over 150 shows a year. He spent a year in Virginia, and a few months in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,Austin and Nashville along the way. He eventually settled down in Seattle in 2002 where he is now married and has an eight-month-old son.
In Seattle, Loesel continued to perform regularly, but wanted to move beyond playing cover songs at bars and restaurants and began recording his own music.
“I’d like to play 80 to 100 concert shows a year,” Loesel says. “I began to see the key was to have a CD to promote.”

Through a friend from his days at Sony Classical, the recording process took Loesel back to New York City. There Loesel worked with producer Alan Zahn, who brought in several top-notch session players such as Larry Campbell of Bob Dylan’s band on Dobro and fiddle and Clifford Carter from James Taylor’s band on the B-3 organ to round out the sound.
The CD “Westfalia” includes songs written when Loesel was traveling across the country in the VW van that it is named after. The titles of the songs, “Jack Daniels and Johnny Cash,” “Nothing to Lose” and “Too Late to Die Young” might give the impression that is a country/folky recording. The sound though, with artfully arranged horns and keyboard fills is more akin to urban folk rockers such as Lyle Lovett and Ray LaMontagne.
Early on, Loesel remembers being on the road and imagining his triumphant return to his hometown. He now sounds more like an established performer in town to visit his family and play a show.
“The last two or three years there has been a more settled feel with the music,” Loesel says. “When I left town 12 years ago, I played cover songs and a few of my own. The show I’ll do at Sleder’s will be all my own material.” - Northern Express


Westfalia - debut CD Release
available through iTunes, Amazon and streaming on Pandora



Charlie Loesel is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. His music incorporates blues, folk and country styles. He began performing at age 29 in his hometown of Traverse City, Michigan. Previously he had programmed computers for Andersen Consulting in Chicago, taught physics with the Peace Corps in Africa and engineered orchestral recordings with Sony Classical in NYC.

Loesel credits Leo Kottke as the inspiration to leave engineering for music. He played solo for three years around Michigan, drawing on a repertoire of fingerstyle oldies. Wanting to travel, Loesel bought a Westfalia camper van that became his songwriting retreat.

Loesel moved to Austin, Charlottesville, and Fort Lauderdale to earn his living playing popular covers. A trip to Nashville to record some of his own songs ended the routine. Encouraged by the results, Loesel decided to move to Seattle and focus on songwriting.

In Seattle Loesel completed his transition to singer-songwriter. Writing more, his shows soon featured all originals. He assembled a studio band and recorded Westfalia. Loesel is currently touring locally and regionally to support Westfalia which was released in May 2010.