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Jim Howe,





This year's St. Patrick's' Day concert at the Springville Center for the Arts was really a post St. Paddy's Day concert held on March 20, 2015.  Penny Whiskey, in concert for the first time ever at the Center and a sold out show to boot!  From beginning to end, the show was an absolute blast. Kirk, lead singer, could arguably be one of the most cheerful and dynamic band leaders out there. He kept the crowd with him the entire show with funny one-liners and quick background stories about songs.


Playing a mix of traditional Irish and Celtic songs, along with their own compositions and not to leave out the sing-a-longs, Penny Whiskey brings so much energy and excitement to all their shows, but this show was one of the best I've ever seen. Perhaps it was because it was St. Patrick's Day, perhaps it was because this was their first gig at the Springville Center for the Arts.


What a great way to spend a (post) St. Patrick's Day evening.




Mary Heneghan, Chairman

The Buffalo Irish Center



Penny Whiskey is a Celtic band who “Do what they love and love what they do”. They have a great time on stage and share that enthusiasm with their audience. From traditional Irish/Scotch ballads to their own tunes, the group shares their musical talent with their audience, showcasing the best in harmony, vocal and instrumentals. “The craic is mighty” as the group explains tunes or shares past history. Penny Whiskey has built a large and supportive fan base who are enthusiastically engaged in each show. You not only appreciate the music but the connection between the members of the group.

The words Fan and Friend are interchangeable with this group.

As an active member of the Irish American community, Kirk McWhorter, lead member of Penny Whisky has volunteered countless hours for the Buffalo Irish Center. His support has firmly established the annual Guinness Toast as a major event for WNY’S Irish Heritage Center, the Buffalo Irish Center.




Beth Banks -

Niagara Heritage Celtic Festival


The Niagara Heritage Celtic Festival has been honored to have the band Penny Whiskey play at our festival for a number of years. They are a group of very talented musicians and our attendees love them. They are easy to work with and flexible in terms of where and when I ask them to play. Kirk is my "go to" guy if I need some music or sound question answered. We love them!



   "Eye of the Storm"

Review by Peter Massey |

If you have never heard of Kirk S. McWhorter, you would be in good company, because before listening to this album neither had I. After listening to it, I have a feeling we will be hearing a lot more from Kirk. For those living in the New York area, you will know Kirk as the lead singer with the [former band]  Kilbrannan. He has yet to make waves on either side of the pond, but with songs such as he writes, it might be sooner rather than later. Kirk S. McWhorter comes from Attica, NY, and he is a fine singer. He has the ability to write songs that have an easy listening format, that cry out to be heard. Then he can change the mood completely and deliver a serious ballad or shanty with same ease.

As the title of the album, Eye of the Storm, suggests these are mainly songs of the sea. There are a few tunes that will already be familiar to folk buffs, "Spanish Ladies," "High Barbary," "Skye Boat Song," and the song "Fiddler's Green". (Note: "Fiddler's Green" is not a traditional song, as the sleeve notes suggest; it was written by John Conolly and it is such a good song that I think anybody could make this mistake). McWhorter wrote the main songs on the album, and pretty good they are too. This is demonstrated by the first of McWhorter's songs, "Bow to Stern" written in the shanty mode. This is followed by the song "Grannuaile" a story song about the infamous 14th century woman pirate Grace O'Mally. Then follows the song "The Tale of Fergus McCabe" the story of a 13 year-old boy who meets his fate in the waters of Kilbrannan Sound. To add a bit of light-hearted entertainment to the album the seventh track is a jovial song "Old Spice," where McWhorter takes a side-ways look at nautical terms. The last track has the album's title song "Eye of the Storm" a song about a lighthouse -- or is it? There is a bonus track about 60 seconds later of out-takes from the studio floor. Just goes to prove Kirk has a sense of humour and they had a lot of fun making the album.

This a studio production album with 8 guest musicians and no less than 19 members of the West Highland Choir belting out the choruses. It was recorded, mixed and mastered entirely by Kirk at his West Highland Studio, Attica, N.Y. I am surprised that the big name record companies have not yet signed up McWhorter or his band. But no matter, to buy the album or to get more information on McWhorter, I suggest you do yourselves a favor and visit [PennyWhiskey].!




"Brambleshire Wood" review


Ian Anderson - Jethro Tull

"I enjoyed listening to Kirk's music and I hope that he will have great success… In these musically competitive times, it's difficult for artists to get the attention they deserve - I hope that wider acclaim will result for this project and I look forward to hearing more in the future."


"Brambleshire Wood" review

Jeff Jarvis - CEO, Kendor Music Publishers


"Kirk S. McWhorter's "Brambleshire Wood" is a powerful and remarkable recording. Whether or not you have Scottish and English ancestry, as I do, you'll love this terrific collection of time-tested songs. The skillful arrangements utilizing traditional and modern instruments will transport you from the serenity of the highland meadows to the chaos of a lowland battlefield. As I listened to the music, I began to feel as though I was born on the wrong continent and centuries too late."


"Brambleshire Wood"

Tracy McKrane - Independent Music Critic


"Never in all my years as a music reviewer have I heard a project that crosses over into so many different styles, yet carves its own groove in today's musical scene. Even if you've never listened to Celtic music, it doesn't matter - there's something here for everyone!"





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