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Welcome to Irish Music Stories, the show about traditional music and the much bigger stories behind it. IMS is about everything--through an Irish music lens.

Whether you already play the fiddle or you know nothing about trad music or dance, I hope you'll join me, Shannon Heaton, as I learn how a band of Boston tweens ended up at a big music competition in Sligo, and what it meant to their families... and as I dig into the darker, sweeter side of Irish humor... and as I explore what learning Irish songs together is really all about.

Meet thoughtful and incredibly charming people in pubs, kitchens, and backstages throughout the U.S., Ireland, and beyond, underscored with toe-tapping and heart-soaring melodies that seem familiar, even if you've never heard them before.

Mar 13, 2018

Dance Hall scenes shaped people's lives in Irish America from the mid 1940s-1960s. To help understand this colorful time in Irish American history--and to consider immigration in an Irish key--Sue Lindsay, Joanie Madden, Kevin Doyle, Helen Kisiel, and Brian O’Donovan share stories about love, livelihood, and...

Feb 13, 2018

Non-specific? Simplistic? Academic? What’s up with the word Celtic, and what does it have to do with Irish music? This month, Shannon unpacks the meaning and mysteries of Celtic culture with Seamus Egan, Neil Pearlman, Marc Gunn, and Ellery Klein… and a few coffee drinkers at Mystic Roaster in Medford, Mass.

Jan 9, 2018

Season Two of Shannon Heaton’s podcast will feature more big, universal stories—stories about humor, family, commercialism, the search for meaning… all through an Irish music lens.

Join the IMS 2018 tour of mid century Dance Halls. Discover the PULSE of tradition from brain to bow. Explore old ballads in...