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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 has three kids who are beginning their adult lives, and guitarist Matt Heaton just went trick or treating with our eight year old. They have each created unique approaches to keeping the music going strong, while still tucking in to family—and while still being home to tuck kids in at night.

Whether you’re steering your own career and family ship or you don’t spend any time with little tykes, these conversations with wildly inventive musicians might inspire you to hustle, to do your best, to keep learning, and to avoid drinking unsavory water.