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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.

Feb 13, 2018

Non-specific? Simplistic? Academic? What’s up with the word Celtic, and what does it have to do with Irish music? This month, Shannon unpacks the meaning and mysteries of Celtic culture with Seamus Egan, Neil Pearlman, Marc Gunn, and Ellery Klein… and a few coffee drinkers at Mystic Roaster in Medford, Mass.

Jan 9, 2018

Season Two of Shannon Heaton’s podcast will feature more big, universal stories—stories about humor, family, commercialism, the search for meaning… all through an Irish music lens.

Join the IMS 2018 tour of mid century Dance Halls. Discover the PULSE of tradition from brain to bow. Explore old ballads in...

Dec 12, 2017

For 2017 Irish Music Stories conversations, Irish music has been the common thread. But it's not the only thread.

Digging into stories and memories--whether they center around Irish music, chess, or ballet--uncovers real struggle and triumph. It unites us. And hopefully it gives us all a nudge to dig deep into our own...

Nov 14, 2017

This first season of Irish Music Stories closes with this conversation with singer and guitarist Dáithí Sproule, about how he has integrated the beautiful songs he learned as a kid in the Gaeltacht with the pop music that opened his heart to harmony and arranging. 

Whether you already play Irish music, or you know...

Oct 10, 2017

Traditional musicians place a premium on humor and social rapport. IMS investigates the deep wellspring of Irish wit with Rory Makem, John Doyle, John Williams, Aidan Collins, Pauline Logue, Lisa Coyne, and Siobhan and Brendan McKinney.

Whether you already have an arsenal of quick comebacks, or you’ve never heard...