They don't make them as real as David Vest anymore. The son of an Alabama sharecropper, the longtime Victoria BC resident is still going strong some 50 plus years since he first stepped on stage with the likes of Big Joe Turner. Long revered as one of the great boogie-woogie piano players, Vest is a five-time winner of Canada's national Maple Blues Award for Piano Player of the Year. He is also a prolific songwriter. David Vest wrote the first songs ever recorded by Tammy Wynette, and his tunes have been covered by artists ranging from Paul deLay to the legendary Downchild Blues Band, whose cover of Vest's "Worried About The World" reached number one on the Roots Music Report blues song chart.
Of the three previous albums Vest has released since coming to Canada, two (East Meets Vest and Devestatin' Rhythm) earned Record of the Year nominations at the Maple Blues Awards. The third, the number-one-charting Roadhouse Revelation, received a four-star rating in DownBeat magazine.
Vest was also a Blues Artist of the Year nominee at the 2016 Western Canada Music Awards, and has performed at major music festivals across Canada and the USA.
Since being asked to open for Roy Orbison in 1962, Vest has performed onstage with an astonishing range of artists, including Big Joe Turner, Bill Black's Combo, Jerry Woodard, Floyd Dixon, Jimmy T99 Nelson, Miss Lavelle White, Carey Bell, Red Foley, Johnny Dyer, Tammy Wynette, Don Helms, Curtis Salgado, Lloyd Jones, Janice Scroggins, and Marcia Ball, to name a few. Some of the musicians who played in a band with Vest (Barry Beckett and Ronnie Eades) went on to become key figures in the Muscle Shoals scene.
Vest has contributed to many recording projects as a sideman, including two JUNO-nominated albums, Bill Johnson's Still Blue and David Gogo's Come On Down.
Before immigrating to Canada, Vest called Portland home in the early 2000s and was co-leader of the Paul deLay Band, winning a number of Muddy Awards, including Best Keyboard Player and sharing NW Record of the Year honours for The Last Of The Best, the deLay band's final recording.
"A huge blues and boogie talent." — Holger Petersen, Stony Plain Records / CBC Saturday Night Blues
"I could go all around the world and never find another piano player like David Vest." — Jimmy T99 Nelson
"He falls into the same class as the masters: Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis, James P. Johnson, Fats Waller. Long live the Boogie Piano King!" — Cascade Blues Association
“Some say he is the real deal. I say he is one of a kind. I once said he was one of the greatest living Boogie-Woogie pianists. I meant it then and I mean it now. Thing is, he’s so much more than that.” — Oregon Music News