Shrewsbury singer-songwriter and guitarist has a busy work schedule
By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing writer
SHREWSBURY – Many musicians faced restrictions in venues from 2020 to 2021. Yet singer-songwriter and guitarist Bob Moon of Shrewsbury continued to work with increased bookings.
First, it adapted when musicians were allowed to perform only outdoors.
“I’m mainly a lead guitarist for bands, but I can also sing songs and play acoustic guitar,” he noted. “When COVID hit all of the band’s concerts dried up, but acoustic music could be played outside. I can do it too. Suddenly I was working harder than ever.
Then he got extra work when musicians could perform in venues without singing.
“I started playing guitar against backing tracks because we couldn’t sing inside,” he explained.
Now he’s entertaining again as a lead electric guitarist with the bands Comanchero and Nasty Habits. At the same time, he performs his acoustic number solo.
“I went from busy to uncontrollable,” he said.
From jazz, to funk jam, to Americana
Moon began playing guitar with jazz groups while attending St. John’s High School, where he graduated in 1983.
Shortly after graduating from Syracuse University in 1987, he began performing with the funk jam group Free Lunch. They made their debut at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston.
“It was awesome,” Moon said of the first experience. “I have never stopped playing since 1988 until now.”
Free Lunch has appeared across the Boston club circuit, including the now closed sites The Channel and The Ratskeller.
When Free Lunch disbanded in 2003, Moon began and continues to perform with jam group Americana Comanchero. He describes Comanchero’s music as “quite original, a funky hybrid of western and southern”.
Comanchero has become a popular number at Boston clubs, festivals and the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade.
Traveling beyond Boston, Comanchero performed at the Meadowbrook US Cellular Pavilion (now known as the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion) in Gilford, NH. In the nearly 9,000-seat outdoor amphitheater, they shared the bill with ZZ Top and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
As his favorite Comanchero concert, Moon cites the opening of British blues / rock band The Yardbirds at Showcase Live at Patriots Place in Foxborough.
During the pandemic, Comanchero individually recorded and released songs from his fifth album.
Pay homage musically
Along the way, Comanchero was the house group for a Linda Ronstadt tribute show.
In recent years, Moon has also performed with tribute groups Gov’t Surplus for the Allman Brothers, Fellowship of the King for Elvis Presley and Let It Bleed for the Rolling Stones.
“People love to hear songs they know,” Moon explained.
As of 2020, most of the musicians in Let It Bleed, including Moon, have become known as Nasty Habits. They brought Rolling Stones songs to shows in New Hampshire and Rhode Island, where restrictions were more relaxed at the time.
A self-proclaimed big fan of the Stones, Moon is delighted that the performance halls of Nasty Habits have now expanded geographically – and increased in volume.
“We’ve booked gigs left and right,” he said of the Stones tribute band.
Planning solo and group concerts
Moon includes original songs and covers in his solo acoustic act. He hopes to continue working solo and with groups.
“I can do a lot of solo acoustic concerts during the week and then the band does Friday through Sunday,” he said. “I love playing solo acoustics and will continue to do so, but my love is playing electric guitar solo in bands – that’s what I do best.”
Nasty Habits will perform on Wednesday, July 7 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Dante’s at Firefly’s BBQ in Marlborough. Follow “Bob Moon Acoustic” on Facebook.