Hailing from Missoula, Montana, Moneypenny formed this Blues and Rock quartet in 2015, where they quickly gained notoriety by capturing the Zoo Music Award for Best Blues/Jazz Band. Moneypenny brings a funky, high energy, authentic Blues experience with an emphasis on improvisation and experimentation that builds on the traditional sound that is “The Blues”.
In 2019 Moneypenny has picked up steam on the summer Festival scene. Headlining The Salmon Blues and Brews Festival in Salmon Id. August 3 and The Flathead Blues Festival Friday August 16 in Polson, Mt., on the Flathead River. The band takes to the streets Aug. 23rd in downtown Missoula for River City Roots Fest. August 31st. they will play Deadgrass Festival in Huson, Mt. and September 6-7 its the end of the year Blues Festival in Kalispell, Mt. Moneypenny will be booking some studio time over the winter months, so look for some recordings to surface sometime in the New Year 2020.
Vocalist and lead guitarist, Christopher Gray grew up in Memphis, Tennessee to the sounds of Beale St. Christopher shapes his tone by building his own amplifiers and playing direct with no effects. Guitar, amp, and volume are all Christopher needs to achieve that “Monster Tone.” From George Benson and John Scofield, to Freddie King and Derek Trucks, Christopher blends Jazz, Rock, and Blues together to shape the sound that is Moneypenny. You can catch Christopher playing in local theatre productions and various Jazz projects.
Charlie Hopkins has played and studied the Blues legends, from Little Walter, Muddy Waters, and James Cotton to Junior Wells and Snooky Pryor. He has performed around the world including Slovenia, Poland, Amsterdam and parts of Canada. Singing high energy lead vocals and blowing with impeccable tone on the Blues harp Charlie brings an energy that has to be seen to be appreciated. Charlie is himself a Missoula local legend, from his days playing with the band ”Cold Beans and Bacon” to his status as a “wild mushroom guru.” Whenever Charlie is not performing with Moneypenny you will find him frolicking in the forests of The Northwest.
The Rhythm section starts with Mark Price on the Bass. Originally from the east coast Mark migrated West over twenty years ago from Lancaster, Pa. Mark immediately immersed himself in the vibrant local Missoula music scene and has performed in various projects over the years. A founding member of Moneypenny, and one half of the “Spare Change” rhythm section, Mark provides powerful lead vocals and a rock solid backbone. Rounding out the rhythm section and laying it down on the drums is Antonio Alvarez, from Madrid, Spain . With a world class background and the “chops” to match Antonio has played on every Continent except Australia. From Jazz, Blues, Funk to R&B, Antonio’s musical knowledge and leadership are unmatched and keep him very busy. You can find Antonio playing every night of the week with different bands.
“WHOA, I JUST WOKE UP TO A TREMENDOUS VERSION OF "HAVE YOU EVER LOVED A WOMAN?", I'M GONNA PLAY IT THIS MORNING AS PART OF THE MONDAY MORNING BLUES BLAST! YEAH MAN, VERY NICELY DONE!" -ROBERT CHASE, THE TRAIL 103.3 FM
2015 ZOO MUSIC AWARDS - BEST BLUES/JAZZ BAND