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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label A real Fine Mess. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A real Fine Mess. Show all posts

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer - A Real Fine Mess - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, A Real Fine Mess, from The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer and it's clever and entertaining. Opening with Black and Blue, a poppy track with roots in the blues but with modern feel and almost a Sting like quality. Do Whatcha has a cool stripped down Willie Dixon kind of sound with a cool blues guitar riff by Matthew Rogers (who also plays drums) and crying harp by Shawn Hall (who also sings and plays bass). Tea For Two almost has a calliope feel but with a light funky rhythm. Nice! Mama's In The Backseat has a country rock feel driven mostly but a thumping rhythm guitar. Hall goes apes**t on the harp making it quite a cool track. Closer To Death has a strong funky beat and a super blues harp sound. Feel Me Now has a lot of strong airplay characteristics with a bit of Journey mixed with R&B and a rock twist. Interesting. Don't Make'em Like They Used To has a feel of the Black keys if they were British. A bit of grind and a bit of pop. Very cool with nice backing vocals. My Paradise has a R&B feel with a bluesy kick. Again on this track backing vocals by Andrina Tuenne, Alexa Dirks and Dawn Pemberton add nice warmth. In And Out Of Love has a Bo Diddley beat and strong harp work over the lead work and direct drumming giving it a distinct NO feel. Sweat This Pain almost gets into a James Brown groove with funky guitar riffs and a groovy rhythm. Cry A Little returns to a more pure blues feel but still with a contemporary feel. Again backing vocals give it a R&B edge. This track has a different kind of vibe with a guitar/harp exchange, making it one of the coolest tracks on the release. With it's light guitar lead and harp overtones, In The End has an almost Neil Young feel but with a softer edge. This could easily be the best radio track on the release. Act Your Age is a bright, happy kind of track with a plucky rhythm guitar/bass feel. Again warm backing vocals give the track a special smoothness. Wrapping the track is A Real Fine Noise, the most eccentric track on the release and likely my favorite. With it's unusual rhythm pattern and underlying funk rhythm, this is a real nice finish for a solid consistent release.

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”


Friday, May 16, 2014


A Real Fine Mess set for release on June 17th 


“With a name like The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer, you might be forgiven for thinking that the Vancouver-based duo is some sort of concept group based on a hypothetical love story between Captain Ahab and Lizzie Borden.” (Chris Oke, Yukon News) In reality, Shawn ‘The Harpoonist’ Hall and Matthew ‘The Axe Murderer’ Rogers evoke much more than just grisly nautical imagery. Armed with a sack 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.

Scheduled for release June 17, their new album, A Real Fine Mess, explores complicated dichotomies. Like how one’s life can appear successful on one hand, yet be clouded by doubt and struggles on the other and how all that is celebrated hangs in the balance with the potential to fall apart at any moment. Recently the band found themselves increasingly inspired not only by the electric ‘groove blues’ of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s but also by the music of their peers. A wee hours stairwell jam led to vocal collaborations featured on the record and an awkwardly mis-matched festival workshop forced them to think about ‘upping their game’ as songwriters and lyricists.

Recording the album came with its own challenges as the two live in different cities and much of the recording was split between Vancouver and Nanaimo. 8 float plane rides, 18 ferry trips and a barrage of text and e-mail arguments later A Real Fine Mess was born like the offspring of Zeus and a cancan dancer.

Hall and Rogers have received considerable recognition in the last few years. They were nominated for four Maple Blues Awards and won 'Blues Act of the Year' at the SiriusXM Indies in 2013. The duo has also pounded their fair share of festival stages including SXSW, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Ottawa Blues Festival, Calgary Folk Music Festival, and Montreal Jazz Festival. Along the way they’ve shared the stage with Taj Mahal, Booker T Jones, David Wilcox, Mother Mother, and The Sheepdogs. They’ve also had songs featured on television shows such as the 'The Good Wife', 'Blue Bloods', and the aptly named TV movie 'Lizzie Borden Took An Axe'.

Beginning June 5 the duo sets out on tour across Canada and the US and have no plans to slow down after their hectic summer of festival hopping. They’re on a continuing journey, constantly finding inspiration from musicians they meet or collaborate with. These encounters challenge them to write better music and lyrics, and to keep performing with their trademark fervor and honesty. And the result? As one fan put it, ‘is blues that gets you in the crotch’.


01 - Black And Blue

02 - Do Watcha

03 - Tea For Two

04 - Mama’s In The Backseat

05 - Closer To Death

06 - Feel Me Now

07 - Don’t Make ‘em Like They Used To

08 - My Paradise

09 - In And Out Of Love

10 - Sweat This Pain

11 - Cry A Little

12 - In The End

13 - Act Your Age

14 - A Real Fine Noise


Jun 5 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry

Jun 6 - Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen

Jun 7 - Champaign, IL - Highdrive

Jun 8 - Goshen, IN - Ignition Music Garage

Jun 10 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom

Jun 11 - Indianapolis, IN - The Slippery Noodle

Jun 12 - Saint Louis, MO - Oyster Bar

Jun 13-15 - Salina, KS - Smoky Hill River Festival

Jul 4 - Sudbury, ON - Northern Lights Festival

Jul 5-6 - Orillia, ON - Mariposa Folk Festival

Jul 11 - Victoria, BC - Rock The Shores

Jul 12 - Kelowna, BC - Keloha Festival

Jul 17-18 - Saskatoon, SK - Ness Creek Festival

Jul 24 - Toronto, ON - Dakota Tavern

Jul 25-27 - Guelph, ON - Hillside Festival

Aug 1-2 - Kaslo, BC - Kaslo Jazz Festival

Aug 3 - Invermere, BC – Pynelogs

Aug 8 - Kamloops, BC - Music in The Park

Aug 9 - Burnaby, BC - Buranby Roots & Blues

Aug 10 - Regina, SK - Regina Folk Festival

Aug 15 - Comox, BC - Atmosphere

Aug 16-17 - Winnipeg, MB - Winnipeg BBQ & Blues Festival

Sep 12-14 - Fredericton, NB - Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Sep 17-21 - Nashville, TN - Americana Music Festival

Oct 4 - Chilliwack, BC - Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Oct 5 - Vernon, BC - Vernon PAC

Oct 8 - Winnipeg, MB - Park Theatre