About Harper's Chord
Harper’s Chord started in late 2010 as a simple idea for a recording project. Armed with a small collection of favorite songs, Jill Moore recruited Roger Fink (guitar/percussion/vocals), Paul Drinkwine (guitar/viola/cello/mandolin/vocals), Atsuko Schlough (piano) and Jeff Engholm (bass) to help her fulfill her crazy dream of recording an album. After countless hours at St. Joseph's notorious Rock House Recording Studio, something magical began to happen. While relaxing in the control booth, listening to play-back it became obvious that they had created something pretty special, something that should be shared with a live audience. And so, Jill, Paul and Roger embarked on a magnificent musical journey which has taken them far beyond their humble aspirations.
Harper’s Chord is all about the music…playing originals and carefully selected covers that tell poignant stories and speak to our musical sensibilities. We love 2, 3 and 4 part harmonies, acoustic string instruments, clear summer nights, bon fires, wine, dogs, children and youth hockey. We believe everything happens for a reason and HC has been blessed with the amazing people and opportunities that have come our way. We always strive to keep our gratitude higher than our expectations.
Following Paul’s retirement in August 2015, we began looking for a musician with that perfect musical fit. After months of auditions and searching, we serendipitously encountered Evin Haukos who delighted us with his mad skills on fiddle, mandolin and banjo. Evin’s musical resume includes study of bluegrass music under Cristina Seaborn, stints with The Collective Unconscious, the Zombie Pit String Band and his own band, Haukos and the Homeschoolers. We are extremely blessed and grateful to include Evin in the Harper’s Chord family.
In 2019, bassist Joe Meyer joined Harper’s Chord on upright bass. A St. Joseph native, Joe’s incredible talent covers the music spectrum from jazz to classical to Bluegrass and everything in between. The ton and talent Joe brings to the group is a perfect replacement for the masterful bass guitar contribution made by Micah Barrett from 2014 to 2018. Adding Joe Meyer on upright bass sets Harper’s Chord on a new trajectory.
And so, Harper’s Chord continues to grow, evolve and transform while staying true to its fundamental sound… performing genuine music, showcasing vocal diversity and entertaining a broad range of audiences.
Jill K. Moore
Jill, the group’s lead vocalist is a native Minnesota girl, originally from New Ulm. She grew up with a passion for performing arts, studying both voice and dance. In high school, you could frequently find her on stage in musicals or singing in church, but her favorite experience was singing with a folk group called the Menagerie. Shortly after graduation, Jill left Minnesota to pursue a performance career. She worked hard and was fortunate to spend eleven years on the road traveling around the world as a professional singer and dancer. After hanging up her dance shoes, Jill came back to Minnesota, where she met her husband George and started a family. Jill missed performing, so she auditioned and appeared in a handful of community theater productions. She quickly realized that she wanted to get back behind the microphone on a regular basis, so she decided to get something started, not really knowing what it would be or where it would lead. And that was the impetus to form Harper’s Chord.
Jill is currently the Executive Director at Great River Arts, a non-profit arts and event center located in historic downtown Little Falls, MN, where she lives with her husband and their three awesome kids, George III, Henry and Harper… along with their dog Mia. Jill continues to lend her vocals to special projects, including Brothers Tone and the Big Groove as well as other studio recording artists.
Roger began playing guitar probably before the other band members were learning to walk. Since his first performance at a 4th grade talent show, music was in his blood. During the late ‘60s he formed a band with classmates called “The Chosen Few”. They played a few school dances and teen centers in his home town of Perry, IA. While pursuing drums and percussion through his school years, he honed his chops on guitar, influenced by country artists Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Buck Owens along with the likes of Duane Allman, Jimmy Page and John Fogerty. In the early ‘70s, Roger joined local country recording group, “Doyle Clark and the Sundowners” while also playing in a southern-rock 4-some “Spiral McCoy Band” while at college. He and his father, Darrell were also a regular Friday night favorite at the Perry Elks Club during those years.
In the early ‘90s, Roger and Des Moines native, Kirk Brocker, formed a pop/classic rock band called “Mondo Cadre”. This band spent most of its time rehearsing and recording but did manage to play a couple of local gigs. After relocating to St Cloud in 1995, Roger contributed his music talents to community theater and the Bethlehem Lutheran contemporary ensemble. It was there he met Don Fortner and Dave Kvaas and the three eventually formed “The Opposable Thumbs”. The “Thumbs” enjoyed some modest success and released a full-length recording in 2001 with the help of then aspiring recording engineer, Jeff Engholm. Shortly thereafter, Roger began occasionally accompanying the Three Sisters (Kate Flynn) which is where he became musically acquainted with Jill Moore.
Roger brings his versatile playing style and singer/songwriter skills to Harper’s Chord as the instrumental foundation of the group. He can usually be found behind a 6-string guitar, 12-string guitar or 5-string banjo, and even behind a drum kit, if given the chance.
A Central Minnesota native, Joe grew up attending numerous live performances of the Minnesota Orchestra and watching his older siblings play and perform live music. Immersed in classical music, Joe eventually decided to learn the upright bass and the music scene has not been the same since.
As a youth Joe had the privilege to perform with the Minnesota All-State Orchestra, The Greater Twin Cities Youth Orchestra, and the St. Cloud Civic Orchestra. Along his musical journey, Joe discovered the amazing talents of Edgar Meyer and Bela Fleck, who remain among his music heroes to this day. Once Joe experienced the spiritual connections and lasting friendships that are found in the Bluegrass and acoustic music genre, he was forever hooked.
Most recently, Joe has performed with the popular, four-piece acoustic group Seaborn during an overseas tour of Sweden. He has also contributed his formidable talents with Lola Cherry, Vista Jazz, and Random Road.
Joe is married to Susan, has four grown children, and a small hobby farm near St. Joseph, MN.
After the first time he played great grandpas fiddle, Evin was hooked in the world of music. While growing up in Fergus Falls, MN, Grandma and Grandpa (musicians of a different age) set to work on some inspiration for Evin’s young ears, with an ear full of jazz, blues, and old timey music. After moving to the St. Cloud area in Elementary School, Evin began his music studies in violin and piano. After a couple years of classical training (and suffering from a bit of boredom) Evin was introduced to Cristina Seaborn’s fiddle orchestra. Evin fell in love with Bluegrass music, attending camps, events, festivals, you name it. Evin quickly jumped to learning guitar, banjo, and mandolin to add to his repertoire. Throughout the years while studying under Christina in high school, Evin had the privilege of being part of numerous bluegrass concerts, the acoustic sessions at Bodiddleys with Mike Thole, St. Cloud all area jazz band, and performed with Collective Unconscious’s Beach Boys Pet Sounds production. He even played with his own band “Haukos and the Homeschoolers” winning a few battle of the bands around town.
While attending college, Evin drifted a bit from music, but had an amazing chance for redemption when he ran into a couple of young hooligans like himself who were trying to change the game for contemporary bluegrass. This is where the St. Cloud proud “Zombie Pit Stringband” began, gigging all over the state in a rusty 1972 VW bus with a set of fresh bizarre tunes ranging from outlaws, whiskey, and even a fish (some of the best and strangest days for him). After jobs and families caused people to move to other parts of the country, Evin focused on his career in Race Directing. While coming home from helping build the Mudman 5k course, he just happened to run into a trio jamming in a driveway. After shouting out the window, “Ya’ll need a fiddle player?” Evin joined Harpers Chord, and though still new to the band, would consider these guys some of his most trusted friend.