Monday, May 9, 2011

Boxcar Campfire reviewed by Harmonica Joe

Boxcar Campfire
Paul Pigat
Little Pig Records
12 tracks/ 44:29

Paul Pigat’s new recording, “Boxcar Campfire”, is very interesting to me. Pagat, AKA Cousin Harley, presents a different side of his talent on this project. This is a big step away from his hard charging Rockabilly Cousin Harley show. This CD showcases his acoustic style with a less edgy performance.  Paul Pigat is a very talented guitarist, song writer and vocalist from up North in Canada. Up until now I have never heard of him. He has been touring Canada and Europe but is touring the USA in 2011.

After listening to “Boxcar Campfire” quite a few times and realizing that it is not what I consider to be a “true” blues CD, I asked myself, where am I going to go with the review of this recording?  This fact is not meant to mean that I do not like “Boxcar Campfire”. This is one fine bunch of tunes performed by an accomplished musician and his band. Paul Pigat expertly hits many genres of music and does a great job of it.

The opening tune of the CD is “Johnny’s Poorly” which features some of Pigat’s catchy finger picking guitar playing. He is very interesting and enjoyable to listen to. His vocals, on this tune, gives me a feel of Leonard Cohen and Tom Waite.  “Johnny’s Poorly’ is a good swing type tune with good bluesy lyrics. This is a real tune to start a CD with. It got my attention.
“Dig Me A Hole” sticks with the Cohen style of vocals, which suits me just fine. This song features lyrics about digging a hole to place all those memories, lies and untruths in. Again this is a kind of bluesy tune. Pigat’s guitar playing again stands out on this song. I guess that this CD is becoming more blues to me as I go on.

Moving on to a bouncier, upbeat tune, Paul presents us with “Corn Liquor”. Just the title gets us thinking blues here. This tune tells us about the virtues of drinking corn liquor from the general store. As the lyrics tell us, “corn liquor is sweeter than wine, gets us there but in half the time”. Maybe some of us can relate to this. This is a true blues song with more of Pigat’s lyrical skill and talented acoustic guitar picking.
In the end, I find Paul Pigat’s, “Boxcar Campfire”, to be a very interesting and enjoyable CD. Do I consider it to be a blues CD? It may not be that but there is enough there to make one take a chance and listen to it for the talent presented to us. Also you may want to check out the Cousin Harley, “It’s A Sin”.

Reviewed by Harmonica Joe

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