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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.

Nov 9, 2021

Setbacks and surprises are inevitable. Weather and illness—and all sorts of other plan disrupters—are not always foreseeable or controllable. But when disappointment and disruption descends, we can regulate our reactions. Here’s a short follow up to last month’s episode about wellness and balance, including...


Oct 12, 2021

For many Irish musicians, it can be a tricky and essential game to stay active and find balance between artistic, intellectual, social, and physical pursuits. In this episode, Aubrey Atwater, Evangelos Stowell, and Pa Sheehan share tales from the trails,  the barn, the pitch, and the gym to help “work out” some of...


Sep 14, 2021

Flute player John McKenna left troves of treasures when he recorded 78 RPMS in the 1920s; Na Píobairí Uilleann in Dublin helped preserve Irish piping; and Dr. Charles Heaton inspired his grandson to play piano with just eight bars of music. Legacy can nestle between bricks, on birch trees, and on manuscript paper…...


Aug 10, 2021

Irish Music Stories is the show about traditional music, and the bigger stories behind it. Episodes are often 40-50 minutes long (and 51 seconds). Here’s a shorter installment. With help from Ellery Klein I delve into collective wisdom; and I revisit a poem that I aired back in Season One. This episode is 26...


Jul 13, 2021

For centuries, traditional music in Wales have endured empire, organized religion, and connections with port towns in Ireland, like Wexford and Cork. In this special IMS spotlight on Cymru, Rhodri McDonagh, Ceri Rhys Matthews, Angharad Jenkins, and Patrick Rimes explore how the Welsh language, the rhythms of industry,...