For the last five years, CBC Vancouver has tried to liven up the West Coast winter greys with The Toque Sessions — five free concerts to pull Vancouverites through the doldrums at CBC Vancouver’s Studio 1. Since Canada’s too big for everyone to get out west for the shows, the Mix Pick this week gives you a taste of Vancouver blues rock duo The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer.
Shawn “The Harpoonist” Hall and Matthew “The Axe Murderer” Rogers travel the country with nothing more than a sack of harmonicas (“harpoons”), some foot percussion, and a beat up telecaster (“the axe”), performing their high energy, bluesy tunes for lively crowds.
The two friends released their inaugural album, The Blues Can Kill, in 2007, following it up with 2011’s acclaimed Checkered Past. Since they started playing together, they’ve accrued accolades, nominations and recognition including a Blues Recording of the Year nomination at the 2012 Western Canadian Music Awards, the 2013 SiriusXM Indie Awards and the Maple Blues Awards, where they were also nominated for New Artist of the Year.
Seeing these two perform dirty riffs to grooved rhythms and hearing them spouse stories with their crafty lyrics is a treat. They put a lot of sweat (no joke) in to every song they play while engaging the crowd with witty banter creating a real sense of intimacy. Catch them at CBC’s Toque Sessions on Thursday, February 13.