tunebook 372 tunes.

Retired college prof (computer science) living in the Chicago suburb of Joliet and whistling with The Dirty Wellies. (You can follow us on Facebook and at www.thedirtywellies.com.) Playing with accomplished musicians has taught me a lot. How I wish I had started this whistling journey earlier. I’ve also been fortunate to make the (digital) acquaintance of Linda Rae from Canada. A practitioner of the whistle, the bodhran (and probably, others I don’t know about), she has pointed me to some excellent tunes as well as to this site.

Linda also convinced me to attend the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival and College in Ontario. What a great event! If you haven’t ever spent the week at Goderich, you should put it on your bucket list and get there next August. You won’t be sorry, believe me! I truly regret not attending sooner and won’t miss it again! In 2014, I became familiar with the musical styles of the Quebecois and Bretons. I love the melodic nature and unrelenting pace of the Breton style. The Quebecois, on the other hand, exhibits a joy reflective of its mixed roots - joyous, exuberant, tonally magnificent. I love the trad music, but each of these other styles reaches deep into the soul. But far surpassing that was all the new friends, both Canadian and American, both students and performers (who are also, by the way, the College instructors).

My whistle collection keeps growing! My excellent Chieftain D punches through in sessions. Most often, I play a Freeman Mellow Dog. Also in the collection are a Freeman Blackbird, Clarke D, a beautiful tenor D made of bamboo by Erik Samson (Erik the Flutemaker). A classic black Clarke which is my "learning" instrument completes the tenor collection. A Burke joined the set while I was at Goderich. In the category of low-D whistles, I have one from Whistlesmith which is easy to finger and emitting a beautiful tone But for tone and resonance, I prefer my Chieftain V3. The lower register, typically, doesn’t punch through a session (without a mic), but the upper register soars. I recently acquired a beautiful walnut low-D from Ethnicwind. I wasn’t aware at the time that he would bore the holes to fit my finger spread so conquering this instrument has been a challenge — but I’m winning! The tone is truly stunning.