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Chopped hogs, whole hogs and rockabilly piglets

The Piglets are back with Cousin Harley for Hogfest ’04 this Saturday night.

Who: Cousin Harley and the Piglets

What: Hogfest ’04

Where: Dusty’s

When: Saturday, Oct. 9

Although, technically they never left.

The three-piece rockabilly band fronted by West Coast jack-of-all-musical-trades Paul Pigat embraced simplicity by dropping "and the Piglets" from its name years ago.

But in honour of tomorrow night’s gig, which caps off an all day celebration of all things "hog" – chopped hog motorcycles and a whole hog barbecue feast prepared by Mount Currie’s Adam Protter, Best New Cook at August’s Canadian National BBQ championships – Pigat has decided to bring back the Piglets.

It’s not just the name that fits the occasion. Bad-ass bikes and barbecue are best served with Cousin Harley’s brand of gritty jive, jump blues and retro rock ’n’ roll, played hard and fast with shades of Reverend Horton Heat-style surf guitar psychobilly madness.

Pigat’s no stranger to Whistler and most recently played on the Village Stroll for Tourism Whistler’s jazz, blues and swing weekend mini-festival, accompanying the dancers from Abbotsford’s Suburban Swing troupe.

His versatility extends far beyond western swing and rock ’n’ roll. He studied classical guitar at the University of Toronto in the late 1980s and has dipped his guitar into supporting roles for an entire spectrum of genres: boogie-woogie jazz for piano player Michael Kaeshammer, jazzy pop for Lee Aaron, adult-contemporary folk for Mae Moore, and alt-country cool for Carolyn Mark and Neko Case. He’s also made the blues/gospel connection by opening for the Blind Boys of Alabama and rubbed shoulders with R&B artist Aaron Neville.

"I’m kind of on the outskirts of things," says Pigat. "I play with a lot of obscure people and do projects that keep me happy. I don’t necessarily go for the brass ring."

"My influences are definitely very retro and a lot of the music I play is very retro," he adds. "But I pretty much play anything that comes my way.

"I’m just a guitar player. As long as it takes six strings to make some sounds I’ll take the gig."

Pretty easy going. Definitely the kind of guy you want at your barbecue. So let’s flip the question around and ask Pigat what five people, dead or alive, he would have at his own fantasy barbecue?

"Hank (Williams, of course) would be there, Link Wray would be there. My bass player would insist that Johnny Cash would be there, Tom Waits would be there. And maybe Charlie Parker," Pigat determines, briefly considering that none of them would get along with each other.

Saturday’s Hogfest ’04 is no fantasy event and Cousin Harley and the Piglets isn’t the only band in the evening lineup. Guitar Doug’s rockin’ bluegrass band Blue River will also take the stage.

Hogfest kicks off at 2 p.m. with the barbecue feast at approximately 6 p.m.

For more information call Dusty’s at 604-905-2171.