Cousin Harley

Cousin Harley

 Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN

Cousin Harley is the rocking hillbilly persona of Paul Pigat, an extraordinary guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. Hailing from Vancouver, Canada, Cousin Harley has a hard-earned reputation for delivering everything from hot rod rockabilly to foot stomping vintage country and western swing.


Paul Pigat started playing the guitar at 11 years of age and was gigging steadily in downtown Toronto by the time he was 12. Through a lifetime dedication to live performance, recording and study he has developed into a superb guitarist, vocalist and songwriter.

Paul attended the Claude Watson School of the Arts and graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Music in theory and composition in 1992. He taught at the Eli Kassner Guitar Academy while continuing to explore live performance opportunities with various bands. Shortly thereafter Paul headed for the west coast, where he has made his home since 1994, and has earned a reputation as one of the best guitarists around.

An extremely versatile artist, with projects ranging from delta blues to classical music, he heads four diverse Vancouver bands and is in high demand as a sideman, having recorded and toured with the likes of Neko Case, Michael Kaeshammer, and Carolyn Mark, and has shared the stage with Taj Mahal, Mae Moore, Lee Aaron, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Joshua Redman, Big Sandy and His Flyrite Boys, Aaron Neville, Jim Byrnes, Zubot & Dawson, and more.

He has played performance venues ranging from small clubs to large stadiums, and festivals covering the entire spectrum of roots, blues, rockabilly and jazz music.

Pauls central touring project is his rocking hillbilly trio, Cousin Harley (a name conferred on him by Carolyn Mark), considered to be Canadas premier rockabilly and roots band. His Cousin Harley style is deeply rooted in the playing of Les Paul, Charlie Christian and Link Wray with a modern twist to create a style that is exhilarating in its intensity, yet at the same time fluid and precise. Pauls creative use of tone and dynamics is a hallmark of everything he plays, and his sense of rhythm is both sophisticated and dead on. His superb talent as a guitarist is matched by his songwriting and his vocal abilities; a warm baritone equally at home singing flat-out rockers and relaxed country swing.

Paul released Cousin Harleys second album, Jukin, to critical acclaim in 2002, followed by a year living and playing in China, before settling in Vancouver on his return to Canada in 2003.

Cousin Harleys third CD, Hillbilly Madness, was released in August 2006. Hillbilly Madness aims to capture the blistering spirit of Cousin Harleys dynamic live performances, with bassist Keith Picot (The Twisters) and drummer Jesse Cahill (Fathead Newman). The album showcases the swing, rockabilly, blues and jazz elements that make Cousin Harley truly unique in the roots music world.

Pigat's first solo acoustic album, Boxcar Campfire, was released in November of 2009 and has received high praise internationally. Featuring members of the Neko Case band as well as some of best musicians Vancouver has to offer, Boxcar Campfire is a journey through the early days of blues, folk and cabaret with a backporch vibe.

Cousin Harley's fourth release, Its A Sin, will be released in March of 2010 on Little Pig Records.

Other current projects include the Paul Pigat Trio (bebop jazz); and Pigby (acoustic swing/jazz duo with Paul Rigby).

An acclaimed educator, Pigat has produced a series of highly regarded and best selling guitar instructional DVDs, distributed in the Learn Roots Music series. He is a popular and esteemed instructor at several guitar camps each year and also presents many workshops while on tour.

A stellar performance at Viva Las Vegas in April 2009 netted Paul an endorsement with Gretsch Guitars. He is the newest addition to their roster of distinguished guitarists, and will be touring extensively for Gretsch as a clinician and workshop instructor.


How My Heart Yearns for You

Written By: Paul Pigat

How my heart yearns for you,
And all those lovely times we had
When we’re out on the town and you’re treatin me bad

How my heart yearns for you,
And how you really had a ball
Slippin out in the night and leaving nothing at all

You used to say you loved me and that I was your man,
But you’d just never show it
I’d hold you in my arms and you’d push me away
So how Was I to know it

How my heart yearns for you,
And now you’re knockin at my door
Well it’s nice to see ya baby, don’t come round here no more

(Instrumental Break)

You never seemed to think about me any of the time
Till it suited you right
Go out honky Tonkin till all hours
While I slept alone at night

How my heart yearns for you,
And now you’re knockin at my door
Well it’s nice to see ya baby don’t come round here no more
Don’t want ya comin round and catch me walking the floor


Written By: Paul Pigat



2010 It's A Sin (Cousin Harley)
2009 Boxcar Campfire (Paul Pigat)
2006 Hillbilly Madness! (Cousin Harley)
2006 Knotty Pines (Knotty Pines)
2006 CBC Radio One—live recording
2002 Jukin’ (Cousin Harley)
1999 Cousin Harley and the James Gang (Cousin Harley - limited EP)
1997 Smokin’ Jackets (Smokin’ Jackets)
1996 Paul Pigat aka Cousin Harley (Cousin Harley)

Instructional DVDs:
2008 Jazzin' Up Your Guitar with Paul Pigat (
2006 Travis Picking – Hillbilly Fingerstyle Guitar with Paul Pigat (
2004 Rockabilly Hot Licks & Tricks with Paul Pigat (

Set List

13 Women (Bill Hailey)
2 Bottles of Booze (Paul Pigat)
Beaver Fever (Paul Pigat)
Boogie Real Low (Frankie Lee Sims)
Conductor Man (Paul Pigat)
Divorce Me C.O.D (Merle Travis)
Dust Bowl Devil (Paul Pigat)
Fat Gal (Merle Travis)
Honey Don’t (Carl Perkins)
Hoss' Hoedown (Paul Pigat)
Hot Little Baby (Paul Pigat)
House Party (Junior Watson)
How My Heart Yearns For You (Paul Pigat)
I'll Keep My Old Guitar (Adolph Hofner)
It's a Sin (Paul Pigat)
Jeanie Jeanie (Eddie Cochrane)
Jukin' (Paul Pigat)
Leave This Town (Paul Pigat)
My Babe (Paul Pigat)
Noodlin (Paul Pigat)
One Kiss (Johnny Guitar Watson)
Red Hair Baby (Paul Pigat)
Rockahula Baby (Elvis)
Shake it Baby (Paul Pigat)
She's Comin' Back (Paul Pigat)
Spaghetti No Sauce (Paul Pigat)
Spooks (Paul Pigat)
Sweet Little Angel (Paul Pigat)
Swingin' Like a Mofo (Paul Pigat)
Thanks for Dinner (Paul Pigat)
The Ballad of El Swartho (Paul Pigat)
Too Much Water (George Jones)
Up All Night (Paul Pigat)
Who Will the Next F