Published Jul 20, 2014Air travel woes seem to be a theme at this year's Ness Creek Music Festival. Twenty-four hours after Lindi Ortega revealed her plane had been struck by lightning, a stripped-down iteration of BC's the Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer took the main stage, bereft of — thanks to an Air Canada misadventure — singer/harmonica player Shawn Hall's floor percussion and a functioning merch table.
Although Hall's pleas to the hip-shaking crowd for a spare tambourine went unheeded, that didn't prevent him and his musical partner, the Telecaster-wielding Matthew Rogers, from showing why they're swiftly becoming known as one of the country's top live blues acts. The pair blitzed through the Black Keys-ish "Don't Make 'em Like They Used To," and showed they know their way around a country tune with "Act Your Age," accompanied just by a kick drum and Hall's cheese-grater vocals. And ending with the exuberant call-and-response of Muddy Waters' "Got My Mojo Workin'" was both a rousing show-closer and an accurate summation of the pair's Ness Creek debut.