Big Joe is the founder and frontman of the Irish Harpers, the ringleader of our St. Patricks circus, and a surrogate father to all the young, ramblin' rebels out there. His tales of whiskey and danger ignite the crowd into a frenzy of awe and fear, and then just as quickly, he may croon them into the nostalgic warmth of an Irish lullaby. While the sorted details of his mythical adventures must remain a matter of legend, heed this warnin' from me, do not test the strength of our fearless leader!
Kevin J. Mooney
Kevin Mooney is an original member of The Irish Harpers. He first met Joe Biglin in the summer of 1971 hanging out on a train trestle in Cedar Grove NJ. Years later, when they were both sober on the same day, they formed the Irish Harpers. Kevin is an accomplished blues harmonica player and a natural born harmony singer! When he is not in jail or having body parts removed, Kevin adds a whole new dimension to the band. His reputation for a taste of whiskey and a woodpile is legendary! Above all, it is Kevin’s quick wit and uncanny sense of humor that has kept the band rolling in laughter and started many a barroom brawl.
Little Joe Biglin
Joey’s natural musical talent was apparent from a young age on nearly any musical instrument he picked up (bassoon not withstanding). Although his career began as a death metal drummer, he eventually stripped his black nail polish, stopped using Elmer’s Glue in his hair, and sat behind a piano. Today, Joe is one of the most in demand keyboardists on the East Coast in many genres (except metal).In addition to the Irish Harpers, Joe performs with such acts as the Jungle Jazz Initiative, Able Hands, and the Turkey Farm 5.
A (not) self-proclaimed Dharma Bum, Joey can be found on the couches of studios, benches of pizza joints, and on top of shady liquor store backroom pallets – but his real home is a cozy cave in the woods. Luckily for the Irish Harpers, his winter hibernation ends just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day, and we could be more grateful for his presence on stage.
August Jeremiah Schneeberg was born in the spring of 1982 in the backwoods of Rochester New York to Hilda & August Schneeberg. His parents, both German immigrants, where a featured act in PT Barnum’s world-renowned side show. August Jeremiah, or “AJ” as his parents called him, was recognized for his love of music at an early age. At five years old he would routinely accompany his patents act playing the concertina and dancing a jig. By the age of ten AJ and his parents had abandoned their humble sideshow roots and moved to Sweden to form a pop band they would come to call Ace of Base. It was there, in Sweden, AJ would discover his affinity for bass guitar. Between 1993 and 2001 the Schneeberg family would become Sweden’s third most successful pop group, behind Abba and Roxette. Their chances of becoming Sweden’s number one pop band tragically ended on September 11th 2001 when his parents Hilda and August were abducted by aliens. Mourning the loss of his beloved parents AJ fell into a deep depression. He gave away all of his possessions except for the concertina he played as a child, left Sweden and found his way back to the United States. 2003 was indeed AJ’s darkest hour. He was living on the streets of New York City dancing jigs, performing sideshow acts and playing concertina for food, cigarettes and booze. It was one fateful night in December 2003 that Joseph Biglin, founder of the Irish Harpers, would stumble upon AJ swallowing swords for a dollar in a subway station near Times Square. Intrigued by his performance, Joseph offered AJ a spot in his band playing the bass guitar and dancing jigs. This was AJ’s opportunity to turn his life around and he seized it. Now, nearly eleven years later, he is happily married with nine children. He attended Harvard, received a doctrine in Astrophysics and went on to save his parents from Zulu. In 2013, reunited with his parents, the Schneegbers went on to produce Robin Thicke’s hit single Blurred Lines. Currently AJ, his wife, nine children and recently reunited parents live in a cozy cottage in the backwoods of Rochester. He continues to tour with the Irish Harpers and produce number one singles for pop stars around the globe.
Jim Pinkerton is an Irish Harper Despite What Perry Says.......
Jim Lashway hails from Budd Lake, New Jersey and has spent over 5 years playing with the Irish Harpers. Jim, like many other of the Harpers, brings an eclectic offering to each tune, and always is experimenting with new tones and ideas. Holding down instruments that include the 5 string banjo, lead guitar, and bass, Jim is truly a versatile musician and always a pleasure to listen to. While Jim has been a musician all of his adolescent and adult life, he now enjoys dawning the green each March and joining the ranks of some true gypsy jiggers!
Long time Harper and Historian, Brian Teucke holds down the drums for the Harpers whenever he finds his way back to his old stomping grounds in NJ. You'll also catch Brian on the Five-string Banjo for a rare Harpers Acoustic Performance.
Matt Engle has been rocking with the Harpers for the last several seasons. Be it on Bass, Drums or Mandolin, Matty keeps the faith!
Caleb Estey, Code name CeeLab, is a strange and wonderful drummer living deep in the hills of Northern New Jersey. Typically ripping it up on the drums with bands such as The Jungle Jazz Initiative, Able Hands, and Gypsy Wig, Caleb knows his way around a drum set, and a sandwich. A self taught drummer, Caleb not only plays, but also has been known to create auxiliary percussion from scratch. He has been known to play entire sets with only a gourd filled with beans, striking both the crowd and the band as dynamic and expressive. When asked to describe Caleb's drumming, fellow drummer and percussionist Matt Fordney had this to say, "Caleb Estey has eaten more in one sitting than I have ever seen anyone else eat. Somehow it translates into his drumming. He can play for hours and hours, only stopping for a slice of pizza or a bowl of soup. Drumming drives his love of food, and food creates his energy behind the drum kit. Also, he's a bum."
Caleb can be seen during the upcoming Irish Harpers season, playing the drum kit, the percussion rig, and the corn beef sandwich.
Not one, two, or even three drummers are enough for the famous Irish Harpers. Enter Matt Fordney, a well known beer drinker from Jefferson NJ, in addition to being a somewhat less well known drummer.
We can't remember when Matt was first invited along for the ride in the van to a gig, or how he wound up on the drum kit, but as best we can recall both seemed to happen. And the rest is history. Or news.
Beautiful blue eyes, a thick New Jersey brogue, sweet rhythms and a steady downbeat, what more can a band ask for? Well, some decent high-hats for their drummer and beer, perhaps. And for all this, we thank Matt Fordney.