The western section of Prospect Street runs along the top of the arroyo and overlooks the track and pool at Riverside City College. In the '60s and '70s the Mellow Manor (with all of its fabled creative goings on) stood on the corner at Olivewood. Later on it would be my own neighborhood -- along with a good number of my friends -- and we made plenty of "art" of our own before moving on beyond our young adult years. Today there is another wave of young people discovering life and music in those old homes and apartments while keeping the artist's flame going strong.
I'm not sure where I first read Charlie Moon's name...it was most likely one of Vanessa Franko's articles about Charlie's former band The Lunar Strays. More recently I heard from several people at the Fox Monday Night Open Mic about the girl with the great songs and melodious voice. I checked out her Bandcamp page (where you can stream her new EP) and found brave, unfiltered documents of melody and lyric...songs that show a young artist already far beyond most her age.
We spoke in the basement of the craftsman cottage on the corner where Charlie and her roommates are putting on house concerts with local and touring bands (don't worry...the neighbors are cool). I learned how she and her friends have worked to bring their musical community together, how they're connecting with bands from out of the region (and out of the state), and how Charlie and her peers are about the group and not the individual. These artists are working to rise a tide that will lift everyone to a place where they can pay the bills and keep making music.
Listen in on the old guy marveling at what a great job the latest crop of Riverside musicians and songwriters are doing to add to our town's tuneful legacy. Charlie plays a couple of compositions from her new EP (the first is Cherrie Joan; the second, She Knows)...I think you'll enjoy them. Thanks, Charlie, for the delightful conversation.
- Ralph from Riverside