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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.

May 9, 2017

Two of North America’s most esteemed Irish pubs were opened by musicians. Host Shannon Heaton heads to Chicago’s Chief O’Neill’s Pub, where flute playing owners Siobhan and Brendan McKinney talk about how Irish music has guided their lives. Back in Boston, fiddle player Tommy McCarthy considers how the Burren has become a landmark Somerville establishment by putting the music and the welcome first. And Shannon’s poem “So this is Irish Music,” features readers Brian O’Donovan and John Coyne.