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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.

Jul 19, 2022

Most Irish traditional tunes have names. Some go by many different names. So what’s in a name? Do names help us associate tunes with people, or remember vast numbers of melodies… or is there another agenda afoot? In this episode, Colm Gannon, Nic Gareiss, Mick Moloney—and renowned 20th century literary...


Jun 21, 2022

When flute player and police captain Francis O’Neill published his first and most extensive collection of Irish tunes in 1903, he included a LOT of tunes. Nicholas Carolan called it “the largest snapshot of this music ever taken in its 9,000 year history.” 120 years later, I revisit O’Neill’s two biggest...


May 17, 2022

Most of the Irish traditional jigs and reels I play have associations, information, history, and sentiments bundled into them. Even these dance tunes that have no words carry so much. And everybody who plays these tunes bears and shares more than just a few notes and rhythms. In this episode, flute player and piper Emer...


Apr 19, 2022

Irish Music Stories is the show about traditional music and the bigger stories behind it, like how important, ancient songs and little short folk ditties lodge in the heart, not the ears… or the eyes. In this episode, fiddle player Séamus Connolly shares early experiences of playing and collecting Irish music,...


Dec 14, 2021

Learn how and why Shannon Heaton creates the Irish Music Stories podcast, as Matt Heaton turns the mic around in the sunroom studio. Tune into this Old-Time radio (half) hour celebration of community, DIY ingenuity, and weighted blankets. And learn about the future of IMS!

For playlists, transcripts, links to videos,...