The Banjo-man is back in town !
For the past few months in Phnom Penh we have missed the familiar metallic chime of the four-string ‘plectrum’ banjo, in trademark ‘Chicago’ tuning (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banjo#Four-string_banjos), accompanied by a steady stream of New York City banter. Richard Pearl has been away working in Hanoi, Vietnam – and how we have missed him!
“It is not easy to describe in words what this man can produce with a banjo, a microphone and a few pre-recorded backing tracks. Richard is a musical entertainer with a unique act honed over many years in Las Vegas showrooms, New York City clubs and luxury cruise liner ballrooms. Check out his website to get a flavour of his style.” – https://www.lengpleng.com/2015/10/weekly-wrap-commencing-thursday-1st.html
When Richard visited Phnom Penh in late 2015, he hooked up with guitarist Joe Wrigley and violinist Steve Sutcliffe to form The Blueberry Moonboys:
The band was named for their first gig, in November 2015, at ‘Blue Moon Night’ ‘Le Moon Terrace Bar‘ on the Phnom Penh riverside – with a respectful nod towards Fats Domino (Blueberry Hill) and Bill Monroe (Blue Moon of Kentucky). The packed audience on the rooftop of the Amanjaya Hotel were dazzled by The Blueberry Moonboys‘ combination of lighting-fast banjo runs, groovy rhythm guitar and silky-smooth electric violin. The Boys immediately established themselves as a very dynamic trio with a fast-moving set-list and varied repertoire: all-time classic tunes from the great Broadway and show tradition of New York City, swing-jazz workouts, rock’n’roll and country-music classics.
Richard ‘Banjoman’ Pearl uses his vast performance experience to keep things lively and entertaining at every show. While each song is meticulously worked out and rehearsed by the band, Richard will sometimes surprise everyone by ‘going with the flow’ and trying something new. He always seems to know what the audience will respond to. At a private wedding show at the Knai Bang Chatt resort in Kep, Richard took control of the stage and called out a quick succession of songs just as the guests were starting to ‘warm up’ the dancefloor. By the time Richard was finished, they were head over heels!
Upon Richard’s return from Hanoi to Phnom Penh in May 2016, The Blueberry Moonboys decided that they needed to expand the group and create an even better sound – by adding a superb drummer and percussionist. Enter Antti Siitonen from Finland. With Richard, Joe and Steve all able to turn their hand to bass guitar, the Moonboys are now even hotter than ever. As the guests at the wedding found out, the band are creating good-time music that makes people dance, smile and enjoy themselves.
Catch the Blueberry Moonboys show to find out what the fuss is all about. The band will be rocking the rooftop at ‘Blue Moon Night‘ at Le Moon Terrace Bar on Thursday the 12th May from 7pm.
Catch the superb solo act of Richard Pearl at the ‘Miss Sarawan & Friends’ evening of live music at Duplex in Phnom Penh on Saturday the 14th May from 8pm.