The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer (British Columbia)
Oh brother what’s it all coming to?
Ain’t nobody left can sing the blues.
They just don’t make ‘em like they used to…
Shawn ‘The Harpoonist’ Hall and Matthew ‘The Axe Murderer’ Rogers evoke much more than just grisly nautical imagery in their range of tuneage. Armed with an arsenal of harmonicas, a mess of foot percussion, and a road-worn Telecaster, the duo kick out raw and primal blues and infuse it with a jolt of raw energy.
The two met and bonded over music while recording a radio jingle. Their name is inspired by a Kris Kristofferson lyric (‘I took my harpoon out of my dirty red bandana’) and ‘axe’, a common term for the guitar.
Their influences are a blues-mile wide, but their sound is distinctly their own, smothered in greasy, gritty soul and imbued with funk. Shawn Hall provides the rousing, rugged vocals and blues harmonica, while Matthew Rogers rips on the guitar and pounds the skins with his feet.
They released A Real Fine Mess in late December last year, a superbly funky 48 minutes of toe-tapping punchy blues that leads one to think the band made a deal with the devil to achieve that groove. It’s unapologetic music that slaps you in the face, makes you sweat, and cuts you to the core.