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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.

Apr 15, 2019

What happens when songs are written with the backdrop of moss covered trees, hillside cottages, and ravens on top of stone walls? And what happens when people play tunes together for hour after hour? (Hint, they need to eat…). Travel with host Shannon Heaton to the charming crow-filled Scottish town of Thornhill. And...


Apr 9, 2019

What happens when ‘trad’ musicians are ALSO fluent in non Celtic traditions? When you’re dealing with cultural traditions (with all the music and the community and social expectations), how do you manage without fumbling or getting sacked? Host Shannon Heaton explores the art and sport of playing on different...


Mar 12, 2019

What happens when old traditional music and dance move onto modern concert stages? Do Celtic traditions get a big boost? Do they lose anything on the road to the performing arts center? Journey with host Shannon Heaton as she speaks with Jean-Michel Veillon, Matthew Olwell, Steph Geremia, Kevin Crawford, Herschel...


Feb 12, 2019

What’s on tap for IMS 2019? Host Shannon Heaton talks to trad world movers and shakers about instruments on the fringe of the session; Scottish, Cape Breton, and Irish music connections; the long (global) reach of Celtic traditions; practice habits of traditional players and dancers; the intersection between food,...


Jan 8, 2019

What was the earliest Irish music live streaming event? Billy McComiskey revisits the night TWO accordion giants gave a concert in the Catskills while a landlord in NYC tuned in; and Rose Flanagan remembers how her dad and his buddy learned tunes on their bikes, for this short between-season installment.

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