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Photo: Sebastian Buzzalino

The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer Rock Calgary’s King Eddy in “Pretty Please” Live Video

The Vancouver blues duo preview their upcoming live album with a performance from the legendary venue.

by Ben Boddez

Back in 2019, Vancouver blues-rock duo The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer spent some of the last months of normalcy playing three straight shows at Calgary’s legendary blues venue, the King Eddy – repurposed into a restaurant and concert hall from the historic King Edward Hotel. The first taste of what went down is finally available, with the release of the duo’s new live video of “Pretty Please,” a track off their 2017 album, Apocalipstick. They compiled their best performances into their first live album, arriving early next year.

Shawn Hall – The Harpoonist – is nationally heralded as a master of the harmonica and the video appropriately opens with a close-up on Hall half-beatboxing into his harmonica with a wild look in his eyes. The track itself is a frenetic and fast-paced blues track with the typical virtuosic musicianship of the genre across the board, the band pushing themselves to their limits on twangy guitars and lightning-quick flurries of piano notes. Interspersed with shots of the crowd, the camera pans over the crew of live musicians, giving each of them lengthy closeup shots to display their skills.

While watching the intricate handiwork of the keyboardists and drummers is impressive, Hall is the main show, adorned with a trucker’s hat as he surveys his domain. With a natural rasp to his vocals, he squints his eyes tightly as he growls out dizzying strings of syllables to match the uptempo thrills of the music behind him. “The band is on fire,” he asserts as he tries to win the attention of a rough and tough, no-nonsense Alberta woman with his skills. The musicians behind him seem like they don’t need the adulation – their talents speak for themselves. 

The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer will be releasing their new album, Live At The King Eddy, on Jan. 28.