Dream Café owner Pierre Couture is often lauded for carefully selecting the musicians that visit his stage, so when you’re the act booked on his birthday weekend, you must be doing something right.
Paul Pigat first met Couture five years ago, but had been in contact with him here and there for much longer, he estimates around 10 years.
“It’s going to be a blast,” Pigat said. “I always love hanging out there, the Dream (Café) is a really special place. There aren’t many gigs, at least in Western Canada that are like that. The quality of music that happens there and the enthusiasm of the people who run it, it’s truly unique for the West Coast.”
Pigat will make this appearance a Cousin Harley show, his rockabilly, western-swing alter ego. However, as with most shows at the Dream Café it won’t be a note-for-note rendition of the stadium show, but a more charming and intimate performance.
“It would literally blow the windows out of the place,” Pigat said.
Cousin Harley began as a project Pigat put together in the early 90s.
“I had a swing band at the time and I’d grown up playing country music, so I thought it just made sense to put those two things together,” Pigat said.
The project, that began as a bit of fun for Pigat, started to take off in the early 2000s.
“It has been my mainstay since then,” Pigat said.
Pigat is a bit of a jack of all trades who makes his way seamlessly through genres and styles working with artists from Jakob Dylan to Jim Byrnes.
Singer/songwriter Neko Case, who is in the midst of a successful solo career, was on the very first Cousin Harley album.
“I believe it might be the first time she ever sang into a microphone,” Pigat said. “None of us knew that she could even sing. She was the drummer for a punk band.”
Pigat will be playing the Dream Café two nights back-to-back starting Jan. 23. Tickets are $28.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Pierre and celebrating his birthday with him. It’s going to be a blast. I hope I can get there without any snowstorms,” Pigat laughed.