David Vest revives a blues era on new album
David Vest is a Maple Blues Award winner, one of Canada’s prestigious blues awards, even though he’s a transplant to Canada from the south. Vest is currently setlled in B.C., but was born and raised in Alabama.
Vest is an authentic boogie-woogie piano player and an old school rocker. He’s set to release his new album, Roadhouse Revelation, on April 29 via Cordova Bay Records.
By the time he opened for Roy Orbison in 1962, he was already a seasoned veteran of the Gulf Coast roadhouse and honky-tonk scene.
The trials and tribulations of these experiences are the inspiration for Roadhouse Revelation. the result is raw and honest. He has a well-travelled, but unpretentious voice which compliments his piano playing.
The album is backed by a band featuring, Teddy Leonard of Fathead on guitar, as well as Gary Kendall and Mike Fitzpatrick of Downchild on bass and drums respectively.
From the get-go, the album throws you into a frenzy of foot stomping and ivory romping.
“Freight Train Rolling” barrels in with classic honky-tonk piano, and rhythmic kick and snare. It’s as if you’ve been thrown into a saloon somewhere in The Wild West. You can smell the cigarettes and taste the whiskey, and you want more.
“Stand Your Ground” comes in strongly with an authentic blues sound. It’s an ode to holding your own and damn the consequences. Vest warns us in the song that he’s not kneeling one more time. He’s not ready to play nice and “you and your sorrows, stay out of my way”. He’s living in the moment and frankly you’d be best to clear the road for him.
“Rambling Man” is a tribute to those whose feet can’t rest- those who are more comfortable on the road. It’s as much of a tribute to that life, as it is an explanation not to take it personally. He tells whichever woman chooses to love him that his heart is hers, but that his soul belongs on the road.
In “You Came Through” Vest almost seems to channel Roy Orbison for a moment, with a dash of Van Morrison. It’s a tale of love as salvation. He talks about how his love has brought him through the worst and brought out the best in him. The piano slows in this song, and the guitar mellows out a bit. This is a slow dance number for sure. A little bit of make-out music if you will.
The album continues with a mish-mash of slower blues-tinged ballads, and hyper piano honky-tonk. With a notable example of the latter being “Santa Fe Steamer” and the former being “Pretty things For Anne.”
Vest is a veteran of the scene keeping an important part of Americana alive. When the album comes out, do your part in preserving history. Who knows you may find you have a revelation or two of your own.
Review by Brian Talmey