Roots-country guitarist-vocalist Paul Pigat would likely be classified in Americana if he was based in the States. Based in Vancouver he has two new CDs on Little Pig Records. One is as by Cousin Harley, Its a Sin, while the other is under his own name and entitled Boxcar Campfire. The two discs have very different flavors but are quite enjoyable in their separate fashion.
The Cousin Harley disc opens up with the rockabilly flavored Conductor Man, and listening to Pigat’s vocals along with his sizzling, twanging guitar, one might think of Pigat as a Yankee Marty Robbins crossed with the Johnny Burnette Trio as Keith Picot slaps the bass and Jesse Cahill kicks the rhythm around. The mood can switch to a bit jazzier guitar on the swinging “She’s Comin’ Back the old-style Western rocker, Sweet Little Angel, and scintillating instrumentals such as the swinging Beaver Fever, Swingin’ Life a Mofo, and Spooks. Cousin Harley will clearly appeal to fans of similar guitar masters with a similar country-roots base as Bill Kirchen and Deke Dickerson. Cousin’s Harley’ It’s a Sin is wonderful rocking music and terrific fun.
Pigat’s own Boxcar Campfire, is built upon a mostly acoustic quartet and has a folk-country feel with some blues tinges with Pigat on guitars and banjo, Tommy Babin on bass, Barry Mirochnink on drums and Paul Rigby on mandolin. The ambiance is more of what some might call “Americana,” ranging from the folk oriented Johnny’s Poorly, to the bluegrass flavored All Over Now. A reference point might be the great Leon Redbone, although Pigat’s recordings don’t have his dead pan humor. John Henry Part 2, with its dirge tempo, has Pigat on electric guitar and is an original lyric with this John Henry being an offspring of the hero, who never should have driven a spike on the line, being free with his knife and free with his gun.“ Corn Liquor has some nice finger style guitar with a Piedmont blues tinge, while “Nowhere Town,” is a reflective solo performance. Lonesome Whistle is a invigorating bluegrass-tinged treatment of an Hank Williams number rousing interplay between mandolin, acoustic guitar and steel guitar and followed by the amusing lyric of Sweet Tooth. Boxcar Campfire shows another side of Paul Pigat’s music and is the diverse performances are wonderfully performed and so very entertaining.
I received review copies from a publicity firm.