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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 14, 2017

This month’s interview with Waterford singer Karan Casey offers variety from last month’s themed episode, which told the story of the Boston band’s “Trip to Sligo.”

I chat with Irish singer Karan Casey about where Irish songs have been and where they’re going. Karan talks about how learning a song from someone is really about making connections.

Whether you already sing Irish songs or you don't know anything about trad music or dance—this conversation speaks to anybody who’s ever made a deep connection with a mentor or student, or has been challenged to listen more.

There’s plenty of music here, too, from Karan with John Doyle; Frank Harte; the Ceili Bandits; and a poem from Louis de Paor. Music and poetry credits for all episodes at