Born in Alabama, Davis Vest is one of many great blues musicians that moved to Portland and became a force in this lively blues scene. He played with Paul DeLay for years and produced some great music of his own. In late October I caught up with him at The Upstage in Port Townsend on the Olympic Penninsula. I was talking to him before the show, and he told about the rythym section he brought with him. He said that Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne highly recomended Andre Thomas as a drummer. He also introduced his bass player to the audience later. He told the audience that they are familiar with his bass player even if they may not recognize him. Jack Levin was the founder of Canada's great blues band, Powder Blues (if you know any swing dancers they worship that band.).
I also got a chance to talk with David about writing. We discussed song writing, and I heard some truths that related to other writing. He then told about discussions he had with a Russian poet about how he thought things out a lot before they got put on paper, saying that if he forgot something then it probably should have been forgotten. David had much to say about music and the arts.
His own piano playing reminds some of Jerry Lee Lewis. Ironically, he played music before he was familiar with Lewis and was developing his style back in the 1950's. David told stories of his first band in 1957 to introduce some songs he had written long ago. His fingers flew all over, and his vocals were first class as well. He sometimes plays in Washington and often in Oregon, so go hear him live because these words can not show the sounds.