Please also visit Joe and the Wheel Monkeys on Facebook.
Contact us at email@example.com or 503-516-4342
For bookings, please check our schedule below. If the date is not listed, we are available
We can accommodate a wide variety of venues. Small, quiet background music with one to 3 people, Upbeat folk, country, rock with 3 to 7 people. Low volume, high volume. Let us know what you need and we can accommodate. We've played retirement centers, private dinners, wineries, bars and festivals. We have a large variety of sound equipment and can accommodate any space
Please scroll down to see our schedule. Scroll past the schedule to get to the sign-up form.
Scroll past the schedule to sign up for newsletters. Thanks to everyone that is already signed up. I will get out a newsletter early next week.
9-26-2023: Updated schedule.
So far, all of our gigs have come about from people seeing us perform. Recently, I've signed us up for a couple of booking sites. These have been asking us for Bios of our members and a Band Description. So I'll be updating this section as time permits.
The Wheel Monkeys are an Americana band that plays a wide variety of music from folk and bluegrass to country and rock. We have hundreds of songs in our repertoire. All of our music has our own twist on it. We call it "Monkeying it up" The size of the band and the set list can be tailored to accommodate events from small dinner parties to large outdoor events. "Wheel Monkeys" is railroad slang for car inspector. They check the wheels (trucks) on the trains before they leave the railyard. Joe is a Train fan as well as a Car guy. We're a bit of a jam band, trading off leads and vocals and modifying tunes as the venue suits us. We have fun and it shows!
Joe has been hosting a jam night in downtown Hillsboro at Pizzario every Wednesday for several years. The band was formed because one night we had a request to play at an event. So a group was formalized and a name was chosen. Joe has been playing at jams and open Mics in Portland since the early 90s. He grew up in Chicago and as a boy played on the railroad tracks next to Wrigley Field. He's always been drawn to train songs. He learned to play guitar in Chicago at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Soon he was introduced to bluegrass. He has always played whatever struck him as fun and never relegated himself to a particular genre.
Rose has enjoyed being a core musician in JATWM since 2017. She’s added quick bluegrassy licks and sweet violin melodies to recordings for many local musicians. Rose began playing classical orchestra, even touring Europe with a symphony as a teenager. She loves traveling and playing music with friends around the country, especially at Oregon Country Fair and in Mountain View, Arkansas. During the day she works as a union pipefitter and teaches mechanical drawing to apprentices in the evening.
Katie captures hearts with her shining voice and festively joyous stage presence. Her creative backup vocals add warm depth to JATWM. With over 50 songs written, she stays busy working on recordings when she’s not teaching high school English or playing frisbee or running trails. Katie is currently playing shows with her new project Sunkicks, a multigenerational group focusing on her original songs. She also books solo singer songwriter shows and has been sought after to return each time she plays a new venue.
Dave is the drive to our sound. He is the groove in all our music. A primo stand up bass player, he has been an orchestra member in addition to playing with several bands. His vocals are outstanding. His breadth of experience and skill on the bass come through in every song.
Barryn is a primo Cajon player that keeps the rhythm. He plays with many musicians in the Hillsboro area. He is a regular at the Pizzario jams
John is a skilled lead guitar player and bluegrass flat picker. He has jammed with Joe since the mid 90s. A member of several bands in the past, in addition to joining the wheel monkeys, he is in the process of creating a new bluegrass band. John is also our primo sound man and has provided depth to our total sound.
Spencer is a wonderful lead guitar player and member of Sunkicks. He plays with us very often at the weekly Pizzario jams.
Paul is a versatile and talented electric bass player. He is a staple at the weekly Pizzario jams. He is also a member of Sunkicks.
From his facebook page: "Guitarist/mandolinist in the HalfGrassTrio band...sometimes Joe and The Wheel Monkeys. Music Junkie!" Stevan is a remarkable musician, well known and respected all over the greater Portland area. It's always a blast when he plays. Recently we have been playing a trio with Joe, Stevan and Barryn. (We're the ones available in the afternoons). I've jokingly been calling us the The Half Grassed Monkeys.
On the cover is Rose Darke, Barryn Makagapal, Dave Hopkins, myself (Joe Engert), and John Malloy ("I am smiling"). The photo was taken at Scotch Church Road Vineyard on 10-15-22
The photo on the music tab: Katie Darke is front and center.
On the music tab videos: Spencer Mayasich often sits in with us and is featured in the compilation video dated 11-4-22. You will also see Stevan Rogers who sits in quite often and Brent Hodge, who sits in on occasion.
Joe Engert continues hosting a jam night at "Pizzario" on most Wednesdays 7 to 9:30PM. Bring an instrument and a cord, plug in and join us! Please check the schedule if you're interested. The jam schedule is confirmed at the beginning of every month.