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Who knew what being hit on the nose by a violin teacher could lead to?
As a child, Jonathan Bix was strongly encouraged to take violin lessons by his well-meaning mother. What made the situation worse is the fact that his teacher would hit him on the nose when he seemed to be losing focus.
Once freed from this tyrannical teacher, Bix began to teach himself guitar and to take inspiration from the likes of early LP gifts of Glenn Campbell and Willie Nelson, later discoveries by John Lennon and The Beatles, and the Steve Miller music his schizophrenic next door neighbor played every night before bed. As a member of Misguided Youth, Bix toured China and Mexico, opened for the likes of Foghat and appeared with Jane Pauley on NBC’s “Today” Show.
Demetri Joannou became interested in the guitar at the age of eight and began to write songs at 19. A prodigious writer and arranger, Joannou worked with many popular artists in town before finding his true match.
Bix and Joannou first met as members of the popular Boston band Requiem in the mid 1990s. Guitarist Joannou was looking for a vocalist to put his musical ideas into motion when his guitar teacher told him about a common friend who was down on his luck and in need of a job and a musical direction. Joannou got Bix hired in his father’s company and began to collaborate with him in the studio. The result was an album that received airplay all over Boston and was featured three times on Harvey Warfield’s famed Boston Music Showcase. Working with rhythm players from such legendary Boston bands as Scissorfight and Two Ton Shoe, Bix and Joannou recorded a full-length Requiem CD in 1997 that landed them a spot on the DiscMakers New England Battle of the Bands. Though the album and the band both well received from Charlestown to China, Bix and Joannou soon felt a need to change their sound and go their own way.
Encouraged and engineered by producer Jim Siegle at The Outpost in Stoughton, MA, the duo began to experiment with looping and other instrumental technologies that allowed them to achieve a band sound without having to deal with the pitfalls of supporting a full band, The result was a new album that the pair released under the name Blue Moon Harem.
After years of extensive touring and constant performing, Bix and Joannou decided to slow down and refocus their creative energies. As Bix had been writing songs on the road on his acoustic guitar, they decided to put together an album that was more focused on songcraft than technological wizardry yet which still maintained a rich, full sound. The result is “Finland,” a collection of highly personal songs that are supported by the likes of drummer Steve Hart who has previously worked with Aerosmith axeman Joe Perry, among others.
With their simple, honest sound and thoughtful songwriting, Blue Moon Harem is ready to hit the road again, building slowly from coffee house gigs to arena stages. Their ambitions are great, but so is their talent and wealth of experience. Already ,they are a top selection on such popular Internet stations as Jango Radio and Reverb Nation and the fan base continues to build with every song and every set. Flush with new energy and ideas, the band is already working on their third album and look forward to bringing their music to all corners of the heart, mind, and soul.
“Our message is clear,” Joannou says. “We want people to listen to our music and become inspired.” And all without any damage to the nose!