Cousin Harley – B’Hiki Bop album review

Posted by Angel On September - 11 - 20134,561 views

As i might have mentioned before, Cousin Harley from Canada are one of the finer rockabilly trio’s out there. Deliberately i refer to them as a rockabilly band, however that label doesn’t do this band justice. For newbies to this band just a few words to better describe this pack of distinguished yet somewhat wild gentlemen; Drummer Jesse Cahill isn’t just a rockabilly drummer but in the Canadian jazz scene he is regarded as a fine craftsman practicing the art of subtle jazz drumming and played with quite a few jazz greats. Keith Picot has a great passion for Louis Armstrong and Bob Wills (keeps him up all night), which makes him a serious force in swinging the doublebass. Apart from his mysterious ways of turning soup into Cousin Harley’s greasy hairpommade he is a silent movie director and stars in his own productions regularly(with hilarious results too). Cousin Harley a.k.a. Paul Pigat doesn’t seem to have any hobbies and i imagine he doesn’t need any. Why? He is very serious about guitarplaying and songwriting and has brought out a couple of (solo)albums that showcase his talent. Travispicking at lightspeed is but one of his trademarks that made him earn the respect of guitarplayers all over the world.

B’hiki Bop is the fourth album the band has recorded and being the creative soul Paul is, he thought it was just the right moment for recording one strictly instrumental. Despite the fact that these gentlemen can play their rootsy brand of music at supersonic speed there’s a lot of variation to be heard and quite a number of styles and different rhythms.

All instrumental and originals except for 1 Chet Atkins original; Where Chet went for a Django-ish kinda’ tone, Paul seemed to have chosen for his own sound with class A backing from Jesse and Keith, love this one! I’ll talk you through a couple of the original tunes then.
Rigby’s romp; Big band floor tom groove with just guitar, untill Keith joins, that is. Freddie green-ish style rhythm guitar and a couple of whatevertherecalled whacky guitar effects. Nice snare and swing action on Jesse’s part there, love it, these guys cook!! Sounds like someone dusted off his cowbell on Winkle Picker. Not the everyday drumgroove, surf-ish guitar. This is a Cousin Harley signature tune.

Dreaming of you is a slow jazzer where Jessy’s and Paul’s experience in jazz can be heard.
Chicken feed, steelguitar nicely in sync with Paul’s guitar runs. B’Hiki bop title track; Walking bassline swing track with steelguitar comping. After ‘The ballad of El Swartho’ from their It’s a sin album there is a cool follow up called ‘The bender of El Swartho’ which is another fine example that these men can lay down dreamy and dripping tones.

Looking back on listening to this album i have to admit that i miss Paul’s very pleasant and deep singing voice, on the other hand i like to think that one or more tracks are going to be used as a soundtrack for a movie or something like a tv-show: I certainly hope so because to me this is high end instrumental stuff and i love it!

I sat on this one for a while as i knew the gentlemen were going to come over for their annual European visit. I have to admit, the tour has already started and i am seriously late with publishing this one, yes. Of course i did find the time to go to their first gig in Leiden and they sounded just the way i liked them. Never disappointed me and guess they never will. Every year i can see that they have a steady and growing number of disciples. Goes to show that these 3 fine and friendly gentlemen have a certain charme about them that makes the listener feel right at home.
So, they’ve got a couple more dates in Belgium and Holland before this years tour is over and i’d like to say just one more thing; HURRY THE HELL UP AND GO SEE ‘EM!!

Cousin Harley and The Country Express

Sep 12, 2013 TBA Ace Cafe – Cousin Harley Geel, BE
Sep 13, 2013 TBA Mafcentrum – Cousin Harley Maasbree, NL
Sep 14, 2013 TBA The Bounty – Cousin Harley Breskens, NL
Sep 15, 2013 TBA Cowboy Up – Cousin Harley Waardamme, BE
Sep 17, 2013 TBA Cultuurhuis Heerlen – Boxcar Campfire Heerlen, NL
Sep 18, 2013 TBA Burgerweeshuis – Cousin Harley Deventer, NL
Sep 19, 2013 TBA Happy Billiard – Cousin Harley Bergedorf, DE
Sep 21, 2013 TBA Cruise Inn – Cousin Harley Amsterdam, NL
Sep 22, 2013 TBA The Rambler – Cousin Harley Eindhoven, NL

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