tunebook 20 tunes.
G’day, I’m Mick Byrnes. My family has been in Australia since the 1830’s after coming out of County Wicklow in Ireland. I love Irish music but, alas, nobody else in the family gets excited about it
My first exposure to the real Irish music came via The Chieftains who toured regularly in the 1970’s. However I didn’t go ape about it all until I first heard The Pogues in about 1980. After that I started to search for more authentic Celtic traditional music, discovering the likes of Planxty, The Bothy Band etc. much later than I should have.
I bought a tin whistle in Belfast in 1988 whilst spending a year backpacking in North America, Europe and Asia and fooled around with it a bit, but put it down and forgot about it after I returned home to Sydney.
In 1997 I accepted a teaching position in Wagga Wagga and moved west. Whilst recovering from a workplace injury in 2006 I began to play whistle more seriously and regularly. In December 2011 I began learning mandolin.
As well as Irish and Scottish trad I am very interested in learning and publicising Australian traditional songs and tunes - our polkas, mazurkas, waltzes, schottishes, set tunes etc. are beautiful, unique and little appreciated even in their homeland. We have a splendid local Aussie bush band called The Tin Shed Rattlers who have evolved from an ensemble that has been playing monthly Saturday night bush dances in an old community hall outside Wagga for over forty years. Eighteen months ago the Rattlers and other local musos started a monthly tune and song swapping Sunday afternoon session at the Black Swan pub in North Wagga. This event has recently moved to our new venue, The Commercial Club, Wagga Wagga.