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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 The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer - Apocalipstick - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Apocalipstick, from the Harpoonist & The Axe Murder and it's a fine mix of  cool music. Opening with pop rocker, Get Ready, Shawn Hall on vocal and harmonica teams up again with Matthew Rogers on guitar, bass and synth to create their latest endeavor. Fool Forever , has a hook almost sounding like the R&B Stones stuff. This track with it's vocal blending and guitar forward sound has strong commercial potential. I'm Back has a really nice tremolo guitar intro leading into a synthesized zone before breaking into a solid melody. These guys have really matured from their last release with intricately woven instrumentals giving the track significant appeal to a more sophisticated audience. With John Raham on drums and Geoff Hilhorst on organ, this track is hot. Very nice. A country/gospel influenced track, Pretty Please is high energy with traces to early rock n roll and latter influences of Cheap Trick and Meatloaf. Treat Me Kind is a really nice acoustic ballad featuring Hall on vocal and harp, Rogers on guitar and Dawn Pemberton, Andrina Turenne, Alexa Dirks, Ben Rogers, Kari Wendell McClelland, Erik Nielsen and Ricardo Khayatte on backing vocal. Father's Son has a playful, reggae/blues feel with super vocals and cool harp adornment. Fragile is a really nice closer for this adventurous release. With an unusual time signature, cool backing vocals, environmental synth work and intricate drum work, it's almost like listening to a Pink Floyd/Mars Volta offspring. This is a very creative and entertaining wrap up to a very cool release.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017


The Paul DesLauriers Band and Angel Forrest win multiple awards
The fast-paced performance rich gala featured a moving memorial tribute to the late John Mays (Fathead), Brian Cober and past Blues With A Feeling Award Winner Bob Walsh
(January 23, 2017) Toronto, ON – Canadian blues artists from coast-to-coast were honoured by their peers at the 20th Annual Maple Blues Awards gala in Toronto last night as a crowd of blues lovers gathered to celebrate Canadian blues at Koerner Hall.
Quebec blues artists swept the awards with honours going to trio The Paul DesLauriers Band who won Entertainer of the Year, Electric Act of the Year, Drummer of the Year for Sam Harrisson, and Bassist of the Year for Greg Morency. Blues belter Angel Forrest took home three awards including Female Vocalist of the Year, Recording/Producer of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. The Blues With A Feeling Award for lifetime achievement was awarded to Stephen Barry, who has been a fixture on the Quebec blues scene for over 40 years. Montreal-based Frankie Thiffault of Ben Racine Band took home the hardware for Horn Player of the Year.
British Columbia blues artists were well recognized with awards going to David Gogo for Guitarist of the Year, Harpdog Brown for Harmonica Player of the Year and Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne for Piano or Keyboard Player of the Year.
Other winners at the sold-out gala event were Manitoba’s Big Dave McLean for Acoustic Act of the Year, Ontario’s 17-year old newcomer Spencer MacKenzie for New Artist or Group of the Year, New Brunswick’s Matt Andersen for Male Vocalist of the Year, and Joe Bonamassa for International Artist of the Year.
Edmonton’s Cam Hayden, a long-time broadcaster on CKUA and co-founder of the Edmonton Blues Festival was presented with the Blues Booster of the Year award, a very special Maple Blues Award honouring outstanding contribution to the Canadian blues music industry.
In addition to the Maple Blues Awards, the third annual Cobalt Prize Contemporary Blues Composition Award was handed out last night to Ann Vriend for her song “All That I Can”, with runners up Michael Kaeshammer for his song “Sweet Grace" and The Harpoonist And The Axe Murderer for their song "Father's Son”. A cash prize of $1000 was presented to Vriend with second and third place winners each receiving $250, courtesy of the benefactor The Unicorn Project.
Hosted by Steve Marriner of MonkeyJunk, the 20th annual Maple Blues Awards included outstanding performances from nominees past and present, including Calgary’s Tim Williams, Toronto’s Sugar Brown and Shakura S’Aida, British Columbia’s Michael Kaeshammer and the evening’s big winners, The Paul DesLauriers Band along with the awards gala house band, The Maple Blues Band.
Winners of the 20th Annual Maple Blues Awards
The Paul DesLauriers Band
The Paul DesLauriers Band
Big Dave McLean
Matt Andersen

Angel Forrest
Spencer MacKenzie


Angel's 11 (Morningstar) Artist: Angel Forrest. Producers: Angel Forrest and Denis Coulombe

(Lifetime Achievement)
Stephen Barry
Joe Bonamassa
David Gogo
Harpdog Brown
Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne
Frankie Thiffault
Sam Harrisson 
Angel Forrest & Denis Coulombe
Cam Hayden

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



Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer Breakout at BreakOut West

The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer Breakout at BreakOut West
Vancouver’s edgy blues duo The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer have ended the summer season on a high note with their participation in The BreakOut West Festival held in Regina last weekend with a nomination for Blues Recording of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards and several showcase performances.
Though the award went to another popular BC blues artist, David Gogo, The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer's high-energy and original brand of blues caused quite a buzz amongst attendees at the festival.

“I’ve never seen a band command such energy from an audience so early in their career.  The energy coming from the stage was undeniable…it was brilliant”
-Liam Killeen, Coalition Music

"I got a very pleasant surprise when I caught The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer. I was blown away by their dynamic & crowd pleasing set. I'm certainly keeping my eyes on these guys & if I'm not mistaken, they are going places"
-Yvonne Matsell, Co-founder NXNE Music Festival

In addition to their raucous performances, industry panels, gaining new fans and general schmoozing at The BreakOut West Festival, The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer also signed a deal with Canada's leading agency Paquin Entertainment. Paquin Entertainment's expertise as both a booking agency and talent buyer provides engagement opportunities to national and international acts across Canada, the U.S., and through its reciprocal arrangements, in European and Asian markets. This partnership, along with widespread media attention will be sure to raise the profile of BC's dynamic blues duo.

The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer are not known for sticking to conventionality. Their modern take on blues and roots music has been described as “‘blues that gets you in the crotch” and their dedication to preserving and promoting the blues has helped introduce the genre to younger fans all over the country.

For more information visit

Official video for Roll With The Punches

 If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! - ”LIKE”

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vancouver's The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer Roll With The Punches

The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer Roll With The Punches

For Immediate Release: September 13, 2012; (Stratford, Ontario) – Vancouver’s edgy blues duo The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer are not known for sticking to conventionality – their modern take on blues and roots music has been described as “‘blues that gets you in the crotch” and their dedication to preserving and promoting the blues has helped introduce the genre to younger fans all over the country.

Their recent CD release Checkered Past has been earning rave reviews and extensive airplay across North America since its release. “Checkered Past draws heavily from traditional blues avenues, but there’s some room for progression here as well Checkered Past is a great opportunity to hear The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer relentlessly carve out their own territory in a sea of familiar faces. They prove their point.” (Review by Tyler Quiring, Blues Rock Review)

Now, The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer - Shawn Hall (The Harpoonist) and Matthew Rogers (The Axe Murderer) - have released an official video for the outstanding track ‘Roll With The Punches’. Produced with the assistance of MuchFact (a foundation to assist Canadian talent), directed/edited by Mike Southworth from Collide Entertainment and starring, along with Hall and Rogers, Vancouver blues artists Steve Kozak and Harpdog Brown. Kozak and Brown, both long-time fixtures on the blues scene in Vancouver, act as boxing coaches in the video, and are real-life mentors to Hall and Rogers in the music scene.

The video can be seen on YouTube at with embed links enabled.

Visit for more information.

The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer add a fresh take to the roots music genre via contemporary lyrics and arrangements, but maintain traditional structures and emotion. A welcome addition to the Canadian blues and roots music scene.” - Holger Petersen, CBC Saturday Night Blues

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Checkered Past - The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer - New Release review

I have just been listening to the newest release, Checkered Past, by The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer. My first thought when I picked up this disc was that the name was too clever HARPoonist (harmonica) AXE murderer (guitar) and although I really like thought provoking music... I was a bit concerned. Well, this is a clever recording and not in a bad way. It is actually quite interesting. There are few tracks on the cd that sounds like conventional blues... but in my mind that means original. The tales are all there... just not as obvious and not hidden behind a "clever" veil. This is a 2 piece band made up of Vancouver natives Shawn Hall (harp, vocals and bass) and Matthew Rogers (guitar, drums, keyboards, bass, backing vocals). The recording opens with Shake It, an original track with elements of the most primitive blues and rock a billy. The harp is strong over the vocals and rhythmic setup. Quite cool. Wake Up, another original has it's roots loosely in Statesboro but again an original track. The riffs are blues but the rhythm is modern yet primitive. The vocal track is absolutely fresh and cool. Roll With The Punches is an interesting track with a retro and uneven paced rhythm. This is a track that deserves strong airplay. It is very well structured and performed. There is also some very cool harp and guitar dynamics happening during this track that really sets it off. On The Sky Is Falling the keys and bass get a chance to throw a curve ball. The rhythm is again funky and different. The lyrics lend a bit of a pop feel and I could definitely see it getting airplay. This time it's actually the vocals that pull it toward the blues however masked... smart. Are You Listening Lord is the closest to a traditional blues track so far but with a dynamic modern refrain just to break up tradition. This track takes some time out to get in a few cool riffs as well..... I like it! Next up is Willie Dixon's Can't Judge A Book. It's done in a somewhat traditional manner but again with a fresh sound. Be My Woman, a traditional field holler is treated with respect and handled with resonator harp and vocal. Smoothly transitioned into the soup. Mellow Down Easy, another Dixon track fits nicely into the set with a bit of a period sound. Too Late Virginia again finds a blues based track given a quirky rhythm pattern which modulates back and forth between reggae and retro with a fresh interesting sound. Vocal blending over the guitar track and train whistle harping is unusually cool. Chevrolet is given a bit of a country blues sound but again with a bit of a modern spin. hall blows a particularly nice harp riffs on this track. Burning Bridges closes out the set with a new blues track following in the traditional strain but again with modern sophisticated rhythm patterns. This is an unusually cool recording and if you want something different to listen to when you want your blues today...this is a great bet!
If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! - ”LIKE”