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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.

Sep 8, 2020

There’s no definitive Irish or Scottish music method book. A lot of seasoned practitioners learned their music in kitchens and pubs. So how do they bring that immersive, social learning approach into the classroom? In this episode, June McCormack, Michael Rooney, Alasdair White, Caroline Keane, and Tom Delany share...


Aug 11, 2020

The topic of sustainable travel for touring musicians has been reframed, as Covid-19 has cancelled most music live music events for an unforeseeable amount of time. But as activity kicks up again, conversations about responsible, viable, grateful travel—and conservation—remain vital.

In this episode, I’ll revisit...


Jul 14, 2020

The role of instruments in Celtic traditions can be fickle: newer voices (like the tenor banjo) are increasingly popular on festival stages; while ancient ones (like the harp) still hang on the outskirts when it comes to modern group projects. Find out how the banjo came into common acceptance in Irish circles from...


Jun 9, 2020

Persistent infections like Covid-19 … and social injustice.. and racism… loom large. And still, these little Irish jigs and reels are forming bridges across oceans. What happens when people fall in love with a foreign music culture and pull themselves out of their comfort zones to travel and learn to play? Learn...


May 12, 2020

What do rampant evictions, military ship collisions, and Christmas trees have to do with jigs and reels? Learn how Gaelic culture resonated in Canada’s “New Scotland,” and down in the Boston States, from singer Mary Jane Lamond and fiddle players Troy MacGillivray, Andrea Beaton, Alasdair Fraser, Katie McNally,...