Swingin Harpoon / Blog

The roots of...(...Al's grey hair are fertilized in musical wisdom - Swingin' Ha

...the BLUES are grown deep in to America's history. Some say it started with the chants of the slaves working the fields of the deep South. Then the churches with praise of the Lord. It came into the shacks where they lived and told the stories of their past and present plight. Later on it was the stories of new romance & broken hearts. Of everlasting love and betrayal. Last night in Boca Raton my pal Jimmy Belize and I were treated to an evening of BLUES of old. Real BLUES with lyrics that told the truth.

The band was 'Swingin' Harpoon'. Out front is Mike Lanigan playing keys, harp and handling most of the vocals. On guitar is a new member Keven McCann. You can tell the BLUES are etched in his soul. Long time band member James Lewis is at the kit and sang one as well. Chris Scheiber handles the bass chores and did a nice vocal on "Flip, Flop and Fly".

The show opened with an instrumental version of "Black Magic Woman" and that set the tone for the night. It would be BLUES magic for the rest of the evening. Some old, some fairly recent but all recognizably BLUE. One that goes way back and is lots of fun "Wait-----Just A Minute" has us all clappin' and tappin'. "Hey Babe" is colored in funk and "I Can't Do My Homework" tells a tale. "Bye, Bye Baby" gives each player a chance to show off and they do. Then a tune that dates back to even before I was born. "Broken Hearted", first played in 1926. It's done in slow tempo drag and I am wishing for a dance partner to do a little bit of "Fish". I didn't get all of the title but I know it went "Put Away Those ???" and James did some really nice solo work. Knowing how Floridians have the habit of not using their 'blankahs'(directionals) Mike chides them with the song "There's Gonna Be An Accident". Chris did his 'F,F & F' followed by Mike's shout-out to me for being a judge at the Inaugural Greater Southeastern Harmonica Championships at the Bradfordville Blues Club on Aug. 29. James grabs a 'mic' to sing "I Love You Too Much". Mike keeps it fun when they do "Going Down To Big Mary's" and closes the set with "Mr. Pinstripe".

The Mon/Tues nite $5 hamburger special is now $6 and Mon. only. They were sold-out on chili and they no longer have ice cream. No matter. Every night there's great music. Thanks to Swingin' Harpoon for the fun and music.

Jazz & Blues Florida Magazine Cover Featured Artist

Growing up in Tarpon Springs Mike Lanigan always tinkered with musical instruments. He started blowing harp at 14, learning his licks from two main sources: The J. Geils Band and The Ozark Mountain Daredevils. The two contrasting styles of music influenced Mike’s unique style. Other significant influences include Pat Ramsey, William Clarke, Fingers Taylor, Johnny Winter, Brian Setzer and Michael Andrew.

Mike has performed with or opened for a long list of artists such as Roosevelt Collier, Eric Culbertson, Biscuit Miller, Jason Ricci, Sean Chambers, EG Kight, Albert Castiglia, Watermelon Slim, Herbie Mann, Spyro Gyra, Georgia Satellites, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Grace Slick & Starship, T.C. Carr, Mark Chesnutt, Tracy Lawrence, Confederate Railroad, Tracy Byrd, Joe Nichols, Lee Ann Womack, Mark Collie and Janie Fricke, and many more!

After literally wearing out a copy of Michael Andrew’s Swingerhead CD over a period of about 12 years, Mike finally put the Swingin’ Harpoon Blues Band together. He is joined in the lineup by Neil Anderson on lead guitar and vocals, and The Mercenaries of Rhythm: James Lewis on drums and Kevan McCann on Bass, along with special guests. The band performs original songs and quality covers in genres from big city blues to swing to rockabilly to funk. Mike describes his harmonica style as “a cross breed of mountain and big city blues... with some big band swing twisted into it.” So how did that name come about? “The original name in 2005 was Swing Pocket,” Mike explains, “but I found a band up north that had been using that name for a while so I changed it. Swingin’ identifies the style of blues that I present. Harpoon is slang for harmonica... as you might remember from Kris Kristofferson’s ‘Me and Bobby McGee.’”

They’ve been touring relentlessly ever since, and crowd reception to Swingin’ Harpoon’s unique mix of big band swing and blues harp has been overwhelming positive.According to Mike, “When performing, I become Swingin Harpoon’... delivering everything I have.” Mike's 2007 debut CD, American Without Prefix ,met with critical success as well. “My songs often are commentaries regarding social or personal issues,” Mike says. “The title cut presents the need for Americans to focus on being an American first. Adding a prefix in front of American causes divisiveness.”

But Mike is always ready to listen, as well. “The best advice was given to me the first time I played in a venue. I was 15 and sitting in with a band. When the song was over, the frontman told me, ‘You’re pretty good, kid, but learn when not to play.’ Sage advice for harp players who sit in with bands!” Their live performance recorded on World Famous Bradfordville Blues Club showcases Mike’s hard-blowing licks and unique timing on swinging blues-rock and vintage blues. It was followed by Full Sail Sessionand 2013’s Only Trash Litters. A few years back,

Mike put together a scripted musical documentary, Swingin’ Harpoon 3“History of the Blues,” which received standing ovations and requests for additional installments. For a change of pace, Mike currently performs in Americana rock band The Allie Cats. Mike also performs as a solo act, ‘The Saltwater Cowboy’, throughout north Florida.

And if that wasn’t enough to keep a man busy, Mike will be hosting the Inaugural Greater Southeastern Harmonica Championships at Bradfordville Blues Club on August 29. “It’s a vision I’ve had many years,” says Mike. “I love sharing my stage with other harpists and feed on their style and talent.Tallahassee is a great central location for a one day drive. I plan to make this an annual event... and hopefully it will become a prestigious Championship.” The championship will be followed by a live radio broadcast from the Club featuring Swingin’ Harpoon. Mike favors Sydel & Hohner harps, using an Astatic JT 30 Mic through a 1963 Lafayette or a 1965 Univox.

Bradfordville Blues Club

featuring Jamie Eubanks is returning Home to The Bradfordville Blues Club this Saturday May 12......come out and see why we have sold out our last three (3)consecutive Shows at The BBC, Tallahassee's Absolute Best Live Music Venue....Swingin Harpoon featuring Jamie Eubanks has alot of new Songs..as well as our favorites...

To find out more about Swingin Harpoon featuring Jamie Eubanks....go to our Website at SwinginHarpoon.com

Here is a recent Clip ....http://youtu.be/VvbADkpHi1A

This Show will be Aired on Radio on Two (2) Stations... http://www.999hank.fm/ and http://www.q1061.fm/ .......

If you have never been to The BBC....it's all about the Music....Nationals Acts every Weekend...no Drama.....no 'Scene'....just Music & Dancing...

Out side you will find Ms. Earnestine right next to the Bonfire whooping up the best fried Catfish you'll ever eat...also has Sausage and others goodies......

Seeeeee ya'll there


In 2009, Swingin Harpoon performed at many Benefits, which we are very proud of. We take all benefit performances very seriously, and give our all to provide the very best in musical entertainment.....some of the benefits include...South Woodstock, Tallahassee Museum Jazz & Blues Festival, Pat Ramsey Hospice Benefit, Woodstork (notice the spelling)...In 2010, Swingin Harpoon is scheduled to perform at even more benefits. This is one way we thank our blues fans who support us.