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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.

Feb 29, 2024

Irish musicians, and writers, and home makers can all benefit by learning some rules and technical skills—and by allowing a little spontaneity and flexibility. But how much great technique do you need? Does that get in the way of the magic? In this episode, Nathan Gourley, Brendan Mulholland, and Sharon Murphy reflect on the alchemy of order and spontaneity: how rule following and rule breaking can make for a great journey; but how a total lack of plan can derail everything.

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: Michael Taylor, Edward O’Dwyer, Adele Megann, Peter Crimmin, the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast, John Sigler, Randall Semagin, Ron Kral, Isaiah Hall, David Vaughan, Susan Walsh, Matt Jensen, John Ploch, Tom Frederick, Paul DeCamp, Jonathan Duvick, Gerry Corr, Mike Voss, Sean Carroll, Isobel McMahon, Bob Suchor, Finian McCluskey, Rick Rubin, Ken Doyle, Chris Armstrong, Ian Bittle, and Chris Murphy