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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.

Nov 13, 2018

Recording locally and performing matinees instead of touring the world isn’t always the aim when musicians first embark on a professional music career. But after a while, especially if kids come along, late night music sessions and full-time touring don’t always balance out. 

Chicago-based box player John Williams...


Oct 9, 2018

When Benjamin and Robert Moore emigrated from County Monaghan to Brooklyn, NY in 1872, there was no #MeToo movement. Also, there was no pre-made wall and ceiling paint. 

Almost 150 years later, we are still using Benjamin Moore paint. We are still upgrading our kitchens, our living rooms, and our society. We are...


Sep 11, 2018

There are traditional music and dance gatherings for every taste, temperament, and time zone. They’re easy to find on the internet. Also easy to find online: recordings, videos, discussion groups, tune learning apps, information, and community. So why bother with trad camp today? What’s the history on summer...


Aug 14, 2018

Living a creative life can be confusing and unsettling. Your output, how you play and collaborate, the company you keep—it all defines you. But mostly, it’s about relationships and time, which Liz Carroll considers beautifully in this episode.

Whether you already play the fiddle, or you’ve never heard of Liz...


Jul 10, 2018

The Irish tradition has always been about learning from each other. But do different recorded formats influence how we hear and absorb the stuff? Is there magic in the medium?

(And now that it’s much easier to record and FIND recordings online, are we moving away from sentimental feelings about hard copy recordings?...