Bed Monkey

Richard Leschen was born in Newport, Arkansas, home of rockabilly legend Sonny Burgess. Actress Mary Steenburgen, too, was born there. Leschen's musical interests began at age 10, so his parents gave him a $9 Sears & Roebuck guitar to keep him quiet. Years later he moved to New Zealand, only to become a burden to an unsuspecting society of generally nice people. 

Leschen writes songs to escape an ordinary life of dull turns, visits to shopping malls, and counting steps between bus stops.  Japanese call his songs country music.  He was member of the Hindi Pop band Dr Greg & the Gopis and Wires & Wood (bluegrass) and has backed Turkish artist Latif Bolat and Indian artist Satish Sharma.  He has played and/or recorded with folks like Nigel Gavin (Jews Brothers), Craig Denham (Beyondsemble, Mamaku Project), Carol Bean, and founded the Bunker Hill Folk Review (see here).

His first album Heavy Waters featured an ensemble of great New Zealand musicians and the second album, Black Horses, was a solo effort of acoustic guitar + mouth.  Both releases cover a range of back-dated country, rock, folk, Tex-Mex, and bluegrass.  He just released the new solo album, New Sun Rising.

Mary Steenburgen has a house at Martha's Vinyard and is married to Ted Danson.

A BIO can be downloaded from HERE.

Looking Back

Looking Back, Des Helmore, 2004


Leschen was born to a working class family. Grandfather Alfred Bierhoff was a German immigrant who lived much of his life in Newport Arkansas, and was a poet who wrote for local newspapers. Grandfather Julius Leschen (shown left) was an accomplished pianist and violin player of Russian ancestry who performed in playhouses in New York City. (Photo circa 1920, Family Archive)