Shawn and Matthew of the Harpoonist and the Axe Murdered have received a lot of recognition in the last few years. Their memorable name is inspired by a lyric from Kris Kristofferson’s ‘Bobby McGee’ that references the blues harp (‘I took my harpoon out of my dirty red bandana’) and ‘axe’, a common term for the guitar. The duo has been nominated for multiple Maple Blues Awards and won ‘Blues Act of the Year’ at the SiriusXM Indies in 2013. They are playing at the Valemount Community Theatre on Feb 9, and you can get your tickets at Infinity Office and Health. Adults $30, Seniors/Students: $25, At the Door: $35.
In reality, Shawn ‘The Harpoonist’ Hall and Matthew ‘The Axe Murderer’ Rogers evoke much more than just grisly nautical imagery. Armed with an arsenal of harmonicas, a mess of foot percussion, and a road-worn Telecaster, the duo kick out raw and primal blues in the tradition of a ‘decades-deep blues style’ (Scott Brown, What’s up Yukon), while infusing the genre with a jolt of renewed energy.
The two met and bonded over music while recording a radio jingle. Their memorable name is inspired by a lyric from Kris Kristofferson’s ‘Bobby McGee’ that references the blues harp, (‘I took my harpoon out of my dirty red bandana’) and ‘axe’, a common term for the guitar.
Their influences range from the iconic songwriting of Willie Dixon to the boundary pushing of Jack White and Danger Mouse 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. Their music is unapologetic. It slaps you in the face and makes you sweat like it’s a sticky, summer night. It cuts you to the core. It’s the blues played the way it was meant to be played.