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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.

Apr 18, 2023

The weekly Irish music session is a specific niche affair, with a particular code of conduct. Gift giving also has its own rules, at least it has in the past. As older customs like traditional Irish music and wedding anniversary gifts have moved to the new world, have things adjusted? Does modern session behavior reflect wider social trends? Etiquette experts Barry Foy and Zina Lee walk me down the aisle of session (and wedding gift) etiquette, just a year before Barry’s Field Guide to the Irish Session celebrates its silver anniversary.




For playlists, transcripts, links to videos, companion essays, and to contribute to this project, please head to



Thank you to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to this month’s underwriters:  April Eight Songs & Stories Podcast, the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast, Mike Lagana & Barb Moore, Joe Martin, Melissa Peabody, John Sigler, Randall Semagin, Ron Kral, Isaiah Hall, David Vaughan, Susan Walsh, Matt Jensen, John Ploch, Tom Frederick, Paul DeCamp, Suezen Brown, Jonathan Duvick, Gerry Corr, Mike Voss,  Sean Carroll, Isobel McMahon, Lynn Hayes, Bob Suchor, Brian Benscoter, Finian McCluskey, Rick Rubin, Ken Doyle, Chris Armstrong, Ian Bittle, and Chris Murphy