In 2009, two kids in a basement:
one almost knew a melody;
the other played two chords.
Nine years and three additional people later, not much has changed. Broken Whistle was officially born (don't ask about the name) at the Kelly Irish Dancers' 2013 Spring Recital. The five years since have been an incredible ride, full of amazing experiences, intense moments, and a little teenage goofiness. We released our first album (Broken Whistle) in February 2014, and our second album (Rowan Street) in January 2015.
...is one of two founding members, and continues to be heavily involved in guiding the band and moving it forward (i.e., reining David in). We like to joke that if we rented a van, half the space would be for the band members and luggage, and the other half would be filled by Chris's instrument collection. While his official (orchestral) instrument may be viola, his first love is acoustic guitar. He plays his grandfather's old-time fiddle, built his own mandolin, and acquired a shady tenor banjo from a (considerably more reputable) pawn shop. His sensitive, compelling vocals make any song he sings worth listening to, and his love of the Old Scots language means culture and history buffs are in for a treat.
...is the other founding member, and the most traditionally oriented of the band members. He's not heard most pop songs you know, and knows all the Celtic bands most people don't. He likes to pretend he's a poet, much to the annoyance of his more down-to-earth friends. He's the band's lead guitar, and plays the Irish whistles and flute (and vocals, and classical clarinet). He's also Broken Whistle's in-house graphic designer, and music leader. Visit his website here.
...brings his distinctive sound and strong harmonies from wildly varying places. We found him playing first violin (concert master) in the Spokane Youth Symphony and rescued him from his boring classical existence. Classical? That's what we thought, too. But he loves anime, listens most to power-metal (or Pearl Django's gypsy jazz), and aspires to travel to Japan one day. What a mix! He adds his distinctive, edgy flavor to our music, and keeps us simultaneously focused and on our toes.
...is the only member to have started her music career with folk music. In her hometown of Billings, Montana, playing with other Celtic players, she learned to pour emotion through her fiddle, and her classical training has only sharpened her skills. Her graceful Celtic fiddling style keeps us grounded in our traditional roots (always a good thing), and at Whitworth University, her skill of composing tunes is growing rapidly. She also plays upright acoustic bass, and aspires to own an actual bass bow of her own.
...is our percussion expert, and plays the bodhran faster for longer than anyone we've ever met. He also plays a very expressive cajon (ka-hoon), or box drum, and sings a beautiful baritone vocal harmony. In addition, he runs the band's PA system when needed. He loves people, and has a long history of eating dinner twice (once at home, once at practice). He always says he's not hungry, but don't believe him; he still has a hollow drum or two.
...add sparkle and visual beauty to our performances everywhere they go. Sisters of various band members have, at various times, danced with Spokane's Kelly Irish Dancers. We enjoy collaborating with them and other Irish step dancers whenever we can.