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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.

Jun 13, 2017

Here’s the story of how Irish music gets handed down. From a dance the night before.. to accordion tunes through the floorboards… to university classrooms… to tunes with grandpa, Heaton travels to Pearl River, NY, Galway City, and neighborhoods around Boston, to learn how a few inspired players learned THEIR music… and how this has led them to pass it on. 

Whether you already play tunes, sing ballads, dance sean nós steps.. or you don’t know anything about Irish culture… these beautiful stories from Rose Flanagan, Margie Mulvahill, Patty Furlong, Séan Clohessy, Josie and her dad John Coyne, Louis DePaor, Seamus Connolly, and Elizabeth Sweeney speak about friendships, community, and generosity.

There’s plenty of music here, too. Music and much more at