By Jeffrey Allen Federowicz
For The Daily Item
WILLIAMSPORT — A typical birthday party this won’t be, but Charlie Moore, the birthday boy, isn’t typical.
Soon to be 78 years of age, Moore has become an urban legend, a larger-than-life character, tattoo junkie, friend and a harmonica whiz the likes the Susquehanna Valley has never seen.
Above all else, Moore is the type of person the college and middle age crowd want to be when they reach Moore’s age.
Why? Because this Watsontown resident smashes — pulverizes really — every old age stereotype to live a life more colorful than his tattoos and wilder than someone half his age.
On Saturday night, the Bullfrog Brewery will start the evening with a stellar performance by The Blind Chitlin Kahunas followed by the classic rock sounds of Lumpy Gravy in addition to a host of local players who will jam the night away as they celebrate not only Moore’s birthday, but his zest for life and embracing it with gratitude and song.
“I’m not going to spend my life sitting in a rocking chair because that’s what someone my age is supposed to do. I get out and enjoy life, enjoy music, making music and have a good time,” said the witty Moore who cuts a striking figure with his solid frame, white goatee and shaved head plastered with tattoos that he had done when he was a younger man a couple of years ago.
That’s right, the harmonica wonder first got inked in his early 70s and has continued to add more ink to his noggin.
“I always wanted a tattoo but never got one so a few years back I thought why not, so I started having some done,” said Moore, whose most recent tattoo features the intricate petals of a lotus flower which pays homage to Buddhism.
Although Moore already stands out in a crowd with his ink-adorned head and husky voice, it’s when he picks up one of his 30 harmonicas and starts to play that he really attracts attention.
“Charlie is a wonderful harmonica player, for sure, and my band always enjoys having him sit in with us at any opportunity and he even played harmonica on our last album, ‘This Old Guitar,’ that we released in 2010,” said Joel Vincent, drummer for The Blind Chitlin Kahunas. “As a person, Charlie’s an incredibly interesting guy with a real zest for life and an even greater zest for live music.” He also always has his harps with him wherever he goes and “invariably ends up joining in with the bands he goes out to see.”
To say Moore joins in with local and out-of-the-area bands performing around the Susquehanna Valley is an understatement since Moore estimates he has jammed with nearly 400 different bands over the past several years.
“It’s always a great experience to sit in with a new band or one that I have played with many times before,” Moore said. “There is a wealth of local talent in the area and luckily some great venues that offer live music.”
For the Birthday Celebration both The Blind Chitlin Kahunas and Lumpy Gravy will perform original tunes and covers during their jam sessions with Moore joining in throughout the night.
“This will be the second birthday bash we’ve thrown for Charlie Moore at the Bullfrog Brewery, and if the last one is any indication, it will be an uproariously great time for everyone,” Vincent said. “In addition to performances from The Blind Chitlin Kahunas and Lumpy Gravy, whom Charlie claims are his very favorite regional bands, Charlie will be playing harmonica with both bands but we expect many other area musicians to show up and join the musical fun.”
Mixed in with that fun will be Moore’s secret to staying young and energetic as he celebrates his 78th birthday.
“Music keeps me young. Music and I have some many younger friends.” Moore said. “It all gives off a positive and youthful energy that I just love.”