Rob Forkner is widely known as one of the best makers of Irish bodhráns in the world. But Rob's not only a maker, but also a pretty good bodhran player, lately becoming one of the most in-demand bodhrán players in Texas.

He was born on a paddle-wheel gambling boat in Louisiana, after his mother tried to quell his natal rebellion with a small amount of red wine. Some time later, Rob moved away from the boat and was fortunate enough to spend time living in many parts of the world.

While living in Alaska, he discovered irish music after a friend gave him an old cassette tape with a small man with a mullet haircut and pastel golf clothes on the front cover. Since it was too cold to hunt for bears or go combat fishing, Rob decided to learn how to play the bodhran after hearing the playing of the great Johnny McDonagh. However, for that Rob needed a drum, and because it was impossible to find a suitable bodhran in Alaska, Rob just started building his own drum in the basement of his parent's house out of birch bark and salmon skin.

He's an active member of the Tea Merchants and a regular sit-inner with Cluan, both local Austin irish music bands. Rob has also competed in and medaled in a few of the fleadhs both in the US and in Tipperary. And yes, it is a long way to Tipperary.

Check out Rob's web site here: Metloef Irish Drums