Formed during the great surge of interest in traditional and celtic music and song in the late 1960's, The Whistlebinkies quickly evolved into a major force in this field. The band led the revival in the use of bellows-blown bagpipes in Scotland and were the first to combine the three national instruments: fiddle, bagpies and clarsack (small Scottish harp) in regular performance. Only authentic traditional instruments are used and where possible, the group prefers to play in an acoustic setting. The repertoire is drawn from all periods of Scottish music and from all regions of the country. Members contribute new compositions within the tradition and the group is always ready to explore connections with other cultures.
The Whistlebinkies have toured extensively, taking Scottish music to France, Germany, Italy, Finland, Iceland, Taiwan, Estonia and all the Celtic countries. In 1991 they were the first Scottish music group to tour the Peoples Republic of China and they recently returned from Hong Kong. Recent festival appearances include The Edinburgh International Festival, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Glasgow Mayfest, Festival Interceltique at Lorient, Brittany and more. The band have also contributed much music to feature and documentary film, telivision, radio and stage drama productions.
George Mackay of the Scotsman wrote of The Whistlebinkies - "Punctillious attention to detail is typical of the group. They led the revival of interest in Scottish traditional music precisely by their willingness to dig deep into neglected territory, and play their findings with great attention to authenticity, as well as palpable affection."