The Wee Heavies
Jay Harkey . Peter Merideth . Steve Neale . Aaron Schiltz
AN OFF-THE-WALL A CAPPELLA BAND DEDICATED TO MUSIC FROM AND INFLUENCED BY CELTIC TRADITIONS. . .
AND WHATEVER THEY FEEL LIKE SINGING NEXT
The Wee Heavies' harmonies are an enhancement rather than a detraction; their voices are full, sure, and gorgeous. These guys follow the noble tradition of a cappella groups such as the Voice Squad and the Watersons, letting the songs and the voices work together for the best advantage of both. The Wee Heavies love their songs, know where they come from, and get them out there, for the delight of folk and classical audiences as well. A Wee Heavies performance is alternately fun, moving, awe-inspiring and a true delight.
-Judy Stein, artistic director of
The Focal Point, St. Louis, MO
“It had been a long time since we had presented an a capella group here, because great ones are hard to find. The Wee Heavies are a great one. The four voices are strong and the harmonies are unbelievable. And they’re funny! They were the talk of the festival and one of the most entertaining groups we’ve ever had the good fortune to showcase. Some of the best audience response we’ve seen. Suffice to say they will be returning.”
-Sheri Bush, entertainment director,
North Texas Irish Festival
"Having the opportunity to hear such fine singing is a treasure and these lads have a very bright future indeed."
-Brian McNeill, Internationally Acclaimed Scottish Singer, Songwriter and Performer
"With their great sound and original arrangements, The Wee Heavies offer the freshest take on Scottish music we've heard in years."
-Diane McCullough, Artistic Director, Scottish Partnership for Arts and Education (SPAE)
The Wee Heavies (Aaron Schiltz, Peter Merideth, Jay Harkey, and Steve Neale) started singing together in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis in 2013. The mostly a cappella band has won a following with their mix of Scottish, Irish and American folk music that combines tradition with innovation and weaves together a unique take on the songs they sing. With their voices (and occasional instrumental accompaniment) the Heavies create a sound rich in harmony with unexpected twists and an energy that has their audiences clapping, stomping, and singing along. Between songs, the lads are just as entertaining through their humorous rapport and engaging storytelling. The band has released two albums: a self-produced self-titled first album, and "Times Long Gone" their second album, produced by Brian McNeill.
The Wee Heavies are a mostly a cappella band started in 2014. They were drawn to the traditional music of Ireland and Scotland because they felt that they could all really relate to the main themes of traditional Celtic music: Drinking, working, fighting, love, and drinking. (Truth be told, their bass is a tee-totaler and has never been drunk in his life, but he makes up for it with the fighting.) The Heavies love nothing more after a long (and typically futile) day of whaling on the Mississippi near their home base of St. Louis, to pick up a frosty glass, reminisce about the days of the Jacobite rebellion, and sing in earth-shaking, heart-rending four-part harmony about the complexities of coal mining.
The Wee Heavies are Aaron Schiltz, whose stratospheric high notes power the Heavies through the roughest of storms; Peter Merideth, who croons so sweetly that he breaks the hearts of sirens and mermaids; Jay Harkey, whose powerful tone emboldens the hearts of his crew mates and strikes fear in his enemies; and Steve Neale whose low notes can rumble the blackest depths of the sea. While based in their home port of St. Louis, MO, the Heavies have sailed to the farthest corners of the Midwest, and have sung at the North Texas Irish Festival, the St. Louis Scottish Games, the Missouri River Irish Festival, and filled venues and halls such as the Hett Theater, the Sheldon Concert Hall, and the Focal Point. They have entertained audiences from the middle of Kansas, all the way to the Isle of Lewis in Scotland.
Wherever they go, their audiences are left laughing, smiling, singing along, raising a glass, shedding a tear and screaming “FAR AWAY” at the top of their lungs. Their mix of rough-and-rowdy working songs, and exceptionally beautiful, soulful ballads, combined with whatever else they might like to sing, and a healthy dose of not taking themselves seriously at all, make an evening with the Heavies a memorable, moving and fun event, full of unexpected moments and astonishingly good music.
HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTOS FOR PRESS USE
(Photo credit, Nicole Galli Mohler Photography)
The Wee Heavies in the Press
PAST PERFORMANCES INCLUDE:
LOOK on Instagram & YouTube
LEARN what the Heavies are up to on Twitter
LISTEN on SoundCloud
LIKE The Wee Heavies on Facebook
The Wee Heavies at
3935 Russell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110
314.401.3715 (Aaron Schiltz, manager)
Download The Wee Heavies' onesheet