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Welcome to Irish Music Stories! This is the LIBSYN Landing page for Irish Music Stories.

Irish Music Stories is 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 8, 2021

Plants can be carefully cultivated or can spread naturally. Songs, too, can spread deliberately or accidentally. Here’s a small sampling of just a few of the song collectors who helped preserve gardens of old English, Scottish, and Irish ballads that travelled to North America. Alex Cumming and Catherine Crowe...


May 11, 2021

If you want to share music with folks outside of your home, you gotta carry your instruments and gear (unless you’re live-streaming). And if you want to share podcast episodes along with show notes and other extras, you gotta build a site to share everything. Hear a bit about how guitarist Matt Heaton, fiddle player...


Feb 9, 2021

How much power does a backdrop have? As the Irish Music Stories production team works to assemble episodes and bonus materials, Shannon explores the wooded hills of Medford, Massachusetts to find visual and organizational surrounds that look and feel like time-worn jigs, and ballads, and nights of music and dance.

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Jan 12, 2021

After a horrific week of social unrest in the U.S., and as Irish Music Stories begins a major overhaul, host Shannon Heaton offers a meditation on how cataloging and organizing can soothe the soul.

There’s also plenty of music in this episode. Full playlist below.

And for Japanese speakers who want to get started...


Dec 8, 2020

Trailer for the December 2020 episode of Irish Music Stories.