The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer

Written and photographed by Steven Shepherd.

Where to begin…well, the beginning is usually a good place, right? If you like your country music, then yes, the beginning is a good place to start for this show. Opening the night was the one, the only, Mr. David ‘Boxcar’ Gates. An exceptional guitar player to say the least, Boxcar Gates held his own against the gaining crowd as everyone piled into The Biltmore. Leaning to a bluegrass-country sound, he segued the night into the next act.

Do you like dog shit? Ben Rogers sure seems to. As he and the Bloodred Yonder grouped onstage, the presence of a slide guitar signalled some deep southern country tunes ahead.  Rogers held the mic to his lips and the foot-stomping, knee-slapping, hand-clapping jamboree of country music began.  Picking right back up where Boxcar Gates had left off, Rogers and the Bloodred Yonder had the crowd in a frenzy.  Even if country isn’t your thing, he would still make you laugh, as his last song “The More I Learn the Less I Know” was introduced with “…and here’s a song about dog shit.”

Now, after all the country tunes I was—as you may have guessed—expecting more country music.  Well…that isn’t exactly what I got.  The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, ladies and gentlemen, are a two man piece of sex.  That might sound a bit odd, but go listen to them live, you’ll see what I mean.  They twist country, blues, and grunge rock into one heaping plate of amazing.  Right from the get go, I was blown away. 

It was hard to take a photo, let alone keep my jaw up as I was so distracted at all of the action going on onstage.  Even though the two were seated for most of the performance you could tell that they were just itchin’ the get up.  The energy exuding from the two made me feel tense and excited, waiting for a scream or a nasty guitar riff, just wanting to crash my head about and dance to the pure awesomeness that is The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer.