Born Richard Boudreau in Cape Breton Island, Sam Moon began entertaining audiences in the mid 1960s, and by ’67 his band New Broom was one of the hottest tickets in the Maritimes. Throughout the ’70s he fronted a number of different groups to varying degrees of success, including The Universal Power (with Matt Minglewood) and The Power Unit with Ritchie Oakley (who later formed his own group, Oakley).
In ’77 he formed The Sam Moon Band, which was essentially Halifax-based Sun Machine (which recorded but never released an album), consisting of guitarist Gary Hiltz, Kevin Obritsch on bass, Neil MacKinnon on keyboards, drummer Brett Bezanson, and Marcel Doucet on fiddle. The single, “Another Man” b/w “It’s Not My Day” was released on his own Solar Records label. Although it was a hit on the airwaves in Nova Scotia, it wasn’t until the new decade before he would release a follow-up.
After forming a new label, Nova Records, releasing his debut album, NEW MOON in the spring of 1982. As a marketing ploy, there were two versions of the album – one with a red jacket and one that was black. All the songs were originals, occasionally co-written with other artists on the East Coast.
Packing a powerful and decidely eclectic turn on the rhythm & blues, three singles were released, starting with “Hostage.” Backed with “Crowded Main,” it made him the first Maritime artist to break the top 20 nationwide. “Dr Rock And Roll” b/w “See You Tonight,” and “Eclipse” b/w “Satisfaction Guarantee” followed, and although airplay was primarily on the East Coast, they too did relatively well in Toronto and other markets out west.
He received the entertainer of the year award from the Halifax Herald in ’82, and the Shure Mike award a year later. In ’84 he released the single, “Don’t Let It Fool You,” and also saw his songs find their way to various compilation albums throughout the decade, including his versions of “Girls Of Neils Harbour” and “Midday Matinee.”
But as the majority of Sun Machine eventually morphed into their own recording unit called The Battery, Moon assembled various incarnations of a backing group and continued to cement his reputation as one of the Maritimes’ favourite and most energetic performers. A fixture of the community, he also became president of the Dartmouth Boys & Girls Club.
In the ’90s he hooked up with Minglewood again for the collaboration Moon/Minglewood. In ’98, he also surprised his longtime friend Dutch Mason during his 60th birthday party in Dartmouth. Not only did Moon perform at the party, with his rendition of the blues standard “Caledonia” making it to DUTCH MASON’S 60TH BIRTHDAY LIVE album, it was also, decked out in his traditional mu mu (a man’s dress), who popped out of the birthday cake.
In 2011 he released only his second full album, NEVER LET ME GO. The album contained new music, as well as the first recordings of some of his live standards over the past four decades. Critics hailed the record for its clean production and honest emotions, with songs like the lead-off “Dreaming of You,” the title track, “Kodiak Wind,” and “Girls of Neil’s Harbour.”
His NEW MOON album was digitally remastered and repackaged when it was re-released for its 30th anniversaryin 2012. That same year, he teamed up with friend and guitarist Rick Gautrea as The Wingnuts for their sole album, LIVE AT FINBAR’S IRISH PUB. In it they performed some original compositions, as well as covering a few blues classics.
Over the years, Moon has played with over 100 different musicians during his career besides Minglewood and Oakley, including Terry Hatty (later of The Guess Who) and Helene Bolduc of Zylan. During his nearly four decades on the East Coast scene, he’s become a mainstay at smaller, more intimate venues, while also backing up the likes of , Sass Jordan, The Band, ZZ Top, The Doobie Brothers, and The Beach Boys, Delbert Maclinton, and The Atlantic Rhythm Section, as they trekked through the Maritimes.