The Last Whippoorwill Band: Sixteen years ago, five guys got together to form a Thursday night club, not for poker but for something much closer to their hearts. They convened every Thursday night as a labor of love. The idea was to play the old tunes, the classic and traditional bluegrass tunes of Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, and the Stanleys...tunes that everyone else seems to have forgotten. Such was the birth of The Last Whippoorwill Band, a name spun out from the title of Monroe's “The First Whippoorwill”. Sure enough, to the audience the music was so old it was new. The Whippoorwills have entertained traditional bluegrass music lovers all around the tri-state area and continue to expand horizons as they move into the second decade of the 21st Century.
Harry Chadwick, guitar: Lifelong Ocean County, NJ, resident Harry Chadwick has been playing, singing, listening to and loving bluegrass music since 1972, when he and his good friends Kirk Clayton, Don Hayes, Ray Switzer, and Billy Jones founded the legendary Jersey Shore bluegrass band, The Late Nite Garage. Harry loves classic bluegrass and strives to keep that sound in his lead singing and rhythm guitar playing for The Last Whippoorwill Band.
Joe Fili, fiddle: Joe fell in love with bluegrass music when he was a child. When an opportunity to study fiddling with former Monroe Blue Grass Boy Gene Lowinger came along, he dived in, and he hasn't looked back since. Joe was the fiddler for the bluegrass band Groundspeed, which won the New Jersey State Bluegrass Band competition in 1993, and for 24 years he has fiddled for Old Time Country Music Hall of Famer, Jim Murphy, and The Pine Barons, a band which won the Traditional Music Association's Band Of The Year award in 1998.
Jeff Propert, mandolin: Jeff had the seeds of music planted within him at an early age. Amongst his earliest memories were family gatherings by the banks of Lake Wallenpaupack, PA. His family would rent a cabin, bring their musical instruments, and play them by the campfire 'till the late hours of night. At age 15, he asked his mother to show him some guitar chords. Being inspired by some multi-instrumentalists in his family, he began collecting and playing various stringed instruments. When he was of college age, he formed a Bluegrass band with a group of friends. This was the first of many professional bands to follow. Jeff Propert has been affiliated with bands opening for acts in the bluegrass world including Doc Watson, James King, Karl Shiflet and Ricky Skaggs. In Florida, he shared the stage with Larry Rice for two performances. Once a year though, he sets his bookings aside for one week, returning to that same old lake with his family, where he continues to play music with them around the campfire.
Carl Baron, banjo: Carl's introduction to bluegrass music came as a young teenager in, of all places, Newmarket, England. As the son of an American Air Force officer stationed at RAF Lakenheath, Carl had the opportunity to see Bill Monroe appearing at a local theater, "The Grand Ole Opry-Newmarket," run and hosted by Pete Sayer, an English bluegrass enthusiast and performer. Carl was homesick for the states, and the purely American sounds of Monroe's music deeply touched him (especially the 5-string banjo) and he has been hooked ever since.
Dave MacDonald, bass: Dave grew up in a family that loved and listened to bluegrass and country music. As Dave says, “There were times we would listen to records all night and wouldn't even put the TV on!” As a youngster, Dave got to see many of the early stars of bluegrass. After learning to play bass, Dave experimented with other genres of music, but soon realized how much he missed traditional bluegrass. He was drawn back and has never strayed. Along with legendary NJ bass player, Randy Bailey, Dave is just about the most in-demand bass man at Albert Music Hall.