David Vest review…June 1, 2014….

DAVID VEST

ROADHOUSE REVELATION

CORDOVA BAY RECORDS  CBR 1182

FREIGHT TRAIN ROLLING–STAND YOUR GROUND–RAMBLIN’ MAN–YOU CAME THROUGH–STREETCAR–GONE TOO FAR–CROOKED POLITICIAN–SANTA FE STEAMER–THAT HAPPENED TO ME–HEART FULL OF ROCK AND ROLL–PRETTY THINGS FOR ANNE

Lately, we have been privy to a veritable plethora of works from brilliant pianists who strive to keep the boogi-woogie rolling and at the forefront of contemporary blues.  Recent releases include sets from Jumpin Jack Strobel, Arthur Migliazza, and Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, all rockin’ with a steady roll.  Add to that list one David Vest, and “Roadhouse Revelation,” ten originals and one cool cover that show David as not only a fine barrellhouse player, but a master of other sounds and styles as well.

David was born in Birmingham, AL, altho he now calls Canada home.  By the time he was seventeen, he was playing juke joints all over the Gulf Coast, and, at twenty-one, was backing Big Joe Turner.

On these cuts, we are treated to all of David’s influences.  He’s backed by Teddy Leonard on guitar, Gary Kendall on bass, and Mike Fitzpatrick on drums.  They start the party with the rollicking “Freight Train Rolling,” and revisit the R & B and rock and roll of his youth with the poignant love story, “You Came Through,” and “Heart Full Of Rock And Roll,”  a rare live recording from a house concert at DarLyn Studios near Edmonton, AB.  “Santa Fe Steamer” is a left-hand-heavy tribute to all the greats, from Ammons to Domino to Pinetops Smith and Perkins.  A killer beat runs thru David’s version of Luke The Drifter’s “Ramblin’ Man,” with Terry’s slide beckoning you to join them down that Lost Highway.

We had several favorites, too.  “That Happened To Me” has David reminding us that hard times can hit anybody, but the blues can be used to lift up your spirits.  From 2002 to 2006, David was vocalist for the Paul deLay band, and “Crooked Politician” was a cool song on which the two collaborated.  It follows a second-line pattern, where we learn something we should already know—“a crooked politician is only interested in his own condition!”  “Gone Too Far” would’ve been a great vehicle for the Killer back in the day, and has that Sun Records vibe all thru it.  And, “Stand Your Ground” is a kick-ass blues-rocker with Terry’s guitar lines giving it a vintage Stones sound.

David Vest has come a long way down the blues highway since opening for Roy Orbison on New Year’s Day in 1962.  He’s got that old-school feel down in his soul, which makes “Roadhouse Revelation” such a delightful listen!  Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.

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