Hi there! I am flattered that you're interested in knowing more about me. Up there is a picture of me in Ireland on my honeymoon. Who am I? Just a guy that loves the tinwhistle. I'm no Mary Bergin, Kevin Crawford, Joanie Madden, or L.E. McCullough...though I hope to be that good some day! I've been playing since 1995, and have been fortunate to play alongside some top-notch irish musicians, like E.J. Jones , Larry Mallette , Turlach Boylan , among others. I was blessed in my early whistling that such great musicians lived and played in Houston where I lived, and were active participants in the Irish sessions there.
Eventually some of those session players and I formed a band, Echoes of Ireland, and in January 2003, we had the privilege of playing for Charles Sheehan (Consul General of Northern Ireland) during his first visit to Houston in 14 years. Unfortuantely I had to move to the Dallas-Fort Worth area for work, and the band broke up. For several years after that, I played with the band Paddy Gone Wild in Dallas. I moved to Virginia in 2011 (again for work) and am currently between bands, but often play in the local sessions in Purcellville VA, Frederick MD, and Gettysburg PA.
Speaking of work, I'm a computer programmer by day. It's a good living--though things were tight after the tech bubble burst in the early 2000's! The job usually pays me enough to keep buying new whistles, and trying them out. I started writing informal reviews on and off shortly after joining the Chiff and Fipple message boards, but realized in 2004 that many of my old reviews were gone due to C&F switching servers and losing their old messages. So, I started making an effort to collect my reviews and put them up on my own webspace, making a more formal affair of it. It's hard to believe I've reviewed so many whistles since then!
In addition to whistling, I have a variety of hobbies, from cooking to martial arts to writing.
Speaking of writing, I've written a couple of novels! They're available in e-book, paperback, hardback and Audible audio format from Amazon.
About the Archives
After I ran through my first couple of tune books, I had a hard time finding free information and music for the whistle on the Net. This was about 1995 or so, and I felt rather cheated that the only places I could find traditional celtic music was on commercial pay-per-tune music sites that were charging something like $5 or more per piece of sheet music. Now, I don't begrudge anyone making a living, but these are traditional folks pieces in the public domain, and that seemed like a lot of money to pay for a single piece of sheet music that essentially had no copyright on it. Especially when you could pick up O'Neil's tunebook (about 1000 tunes) for around $20, and the Fiddler's Fakebook (around 500 tunes) for close to the same price Being a programmer, I figured I could put up my own site, transcribe a bunch of music, and give it away to the public. And so, this site was born to serve those who had a similar love of celtic music.
When I put up my original site in 1996, there was only one other whistle website that I could find (The Whistle Web, I believe the name was). And only two free sheet music sites with only a couple of dozen tunes available in total. Now, there are literally dozens of places to find free music! Every now and then, something happens in the media which gets people excited about Irish music, from Riverdance to Titanic, to Lord of the Rings to Picard's playing of a whistle in the "Inner Light" episode. Irish music seems as popular as ever. And websites have grown up to accomodate the need. And as long as I'm around to maintain it, the Archives will remain.
Take care, and happy whistling!