FAME Review: Cousin Harley - It's a Sin
Cousin Harley - It's a Sin

It's a Sin

Cousin Harley

Little Pig Records - LPR002

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

This is Paul Pigat's hillbilly swing outfit, but I was so knocked out by his blues / country / folk disc, Boxcar Campfire (here), that I had to take a walk and get my bearings first. Sights re-set, I'm ready for It's a Sin, and a lively little bullet train it is. There are only three gents here (Pigat - guitar, vocals, Keith Picot - bass, Jesse Cahill - drums) but they rock so rhythmically hard that the ensemble is like a small big band with a full and wide sound. Pigat handles a dexterous axe, alternatingly birdsong light and then devastating, and takes a lot of cues from Les Paul and the 50s best—dive into Beaver Fever for a display that'd have Les and Tal Farlow licking their chops. In fact, some of his riffs are so Roy Buchananesque that one can see Roy's own influences backwards through Pigat, Picot and Cahill knocking out the bars and measures beneath him with lively aplomb.

Brian Setzer and the Stray Cats will be spitting nails and howling in the moonlight 'cause these boss hawg big dogs just might run right over 'em in a Saturday night face-off. Then ease into the sensuous latin hipsway of The Ballad of El Swartho, boracho, and you'll taste the forbidden delights of the hot blooded south-of-the-border ladies of the night with Ventures style embroidering hanging like lace in the windows. Normally, though I love Tex-Mex and swing, I'm a little leery about hillbilly rock, but It's a Sin just blows that trepidation out of the water, turning heads around 360 while feets boogie and fingers snap, crackle, and pop. Had the 50s actually been this cool, Jim Bob, I'd'a been sporting a ducktail, rolling Chesterfields in my t-shirt sleeves, and nailing Betty Lou out in my pop's '53 Mercury. In I'll Keep my Old Red Guitar, Pigat even sounds like a way hip Bing Crosby, and I swear to Gawd that, in his instrumentals, you can see where even Ritchie Blackmore developed roots via Lester, Tal, and all those bygone hipcats!

Yeah, between this disc and Boxcar, there's a lot of ground covered in impeccable style, but I think Ill just put it all in one tersely obscene sentence and say: This guy's fucking amazing!

Track List:

  • Conductor Man
  • She's Comin' Back
  • Beaver Fever
  • It's a in
  • The Ballad of El Swartho
  • 2 Bottles of Booze
  • Hoss' Hoedown
  • I'll Keep my old Guitar
  • Swingin' like a Mofo
  • Red HairBaby
  • Spooks
  • Sweet Little Angel
  • Spaghetti No Sauce
All songs written by Paul Pigat except
2 Bottles of Booze ( McLaughlin / Pigat) and I'll Keep my Old Guitar (A. Hofner).

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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