Blueberry Moonboys at Summerfest !


On Saturday the 4th June, a huge festival of music, games and fun took place at Northbridge International School in Phnom Penh. The US Embassy Community Liaison Office and The American Chamber of Commerce jointly organised the event.


Setting up in the Cambodian June heat !

Setting up in the Cambodian June heat !







When US Ambassador William A. Heidt took to the stage to make his opening remarks, he described the Summerfest as a ‘late Memorial Day, early Independence Day party’. As the midday sun was blazing on to the green grass of the Northbridge baseball field, more than one thousand ticket-holders congregated around the scores of vendors from Cambodia Beer, Coca-Cola, Dan’s Meats and Dairy Queen (to name but a few). In the middle of the field, the Embassy staff had set up a huge stage and sound system.

The smiling banjoman. picture by Steve Porte

The smiling banjoman. picture by Steve Porte


After the US Marine Corps Color Guard had completed their ceremonial duties (in full dress blues), it was time for The Blueberry Moonboys to take the stage and kick the all-day party into high gear! Richard ‘Banjoman’ Pearl struck up the chords of opening number ‘My Blue Heaven’ and launched the band into a high-energy rendition of the Fats Domino American classic.



Electric Violinist Steve Sutcliffe. picture by Steve Porte

A few songs later, expert violinist Steve Sutcliffe reeled off an entertaining version of ‘Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White’ – the Latin mambo dance classic made famous by Perez Prado. As the band segued into a cha-cha, guest singer Miss Sarawan entered stage right to entertain the smiling audience members with a Cambodian-language song. It was a big hit!



The band stand was fully equipped and hot as a jalapeno pepper!

The band stand was fully equipped and hot as a jalapeno pepper!

picture by Steve Porte

The Blueberries finished their set with an uptempo medley of country songs – from Willie Nelson’s ‘On The Road Again’ to Johnny Cash’s ‘Folsom Prison’ to Hank Williams’ ‘Hey Good Lookin’. The Moonboys’ classic American formation of fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass and drums – all played with a lot of verve and gusto – was perfectly suited to the classic American music. Listening to the audience cheering on the band, it seemed like the perfect performance for America’s Summerfest!

Catching a breath 'backstage'

Catching a breath ‘backstage’. Picture by Steve Porte


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