Irish Music Stories Podcast
The show about traditional music, and the bigger stories behind it.
info_outline Episode 43-From the Fringe to the Fore 07/14/2020
Episode 43-From the Fringe to the Fore Hear how the banjo came into common acceptance in Irish circles from Daniel Neely, Enda Scahill, and Martin Howley… and check in with the joys and challenges of outsider status from harpist Maeve Gilchrist, cellist Natalie Haas, and saxophone players Susan Lindsay and Isaac Alderson.
info_outline Episode 42-The Long Arm of the Irish Tradition 06/09/2020
Episode 42-The Long Arm of the Irish Tradition 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 about the perspective Irish music has offered players on five continents.
info_outline Episode 41- Transplating Tradition in the Land of the Trees 05/12/2020
Episode 41- Transplating Tradition in the Land of the Trees 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, and Lee Cremo.
info_outline Episode 40-Irish Tunes in the Key of C-19 04/14/2020
Episode 40-Irish Tunes in the Key of C-19 How are traditional musicians and dancers continuing creative careers and group music events during the Covid-19 pandemic? How is social distancing affecting the jigs and reels? In this unexpected open of Season Four of Irish Music Stories, musicians from Ireland, England, Belgium, Sweden, and the U.S. address on and offline strategies… from a safe distance.
info_outline Episode 39-Tune Tale with Eileen Ivers 03/10/2020
Episode 39-Tune Tale with Eileen Ivers What’s a soccer ball, a school uniform, and a wedding dress have in common? New York-based fiddle player Eileen Ivers helps jar memories and connections, with a jig she wrote for her granny, in this month’s off season installment.
info_outline Episode 38-Tune Tale with Jimmy Keane 02/11/2020
Episode 38-Tune Tale with Jimmy Keane Are all traditional tunes created equally? And if they aren’t, what happens to the, um, lesser tunes? Do they end up like lost dryer socks? Chicago-based accordion player Jimmy Keane reflects on the room of bad tunes, and shares one of his loveliest compositions in this month’s off season installment.
info_outline Episode 37-Tune Tale with Helen Kisiel 01/14/2020
Episode 37-Tune Tale with Helen Kisiel What do you do when language just can’t capture how hilarious—and important—an encounter in Ennis, County Clare was? Write a tune about it. That’s what Brendan Tonra did. Pianist Helen Kisiel recounted one of those tune memories in this month’s off season installment.
info_outline Episode 35- Last Night’s Food 11/12/2019
Episode 35- Last Night’s Food What’s up with the endless cups of Irish tea? Is there something genuinely nourishing about a pile of french fries and melted cheese? Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Matthew Olwell, Jamie McClennan, and Matt Heaton help host Shannon Heaton digest the meaning behind the menu. Additional tasty tales from Kevin Doyle, Liz Carroll, John Williams, and Kathleen Conneely.
info_outline Episode 34-Fairy Forts and Changelings 10/08/2019
Episode 34-Fairy Forts and Changelings Are Irish fairies REAL? And if so, could there be Sí folk living in New England?? Fiddle player Martin Hayes, singer Emily Smith, and storyteller Máirtín de Cógáin help me and this month’s co-producer Nigel Heaton investigate songs, stories, and possible gateways to the Otherworld.
info_outline Episode 33-The Irish Woodshed 09/10/2019
Episode 33-The Irish Woodshed What do the Irish music and dance worlds think about practicing? Fiddle players Fergal Scahill, Finn Magill, and Rose Flanagan; banjo player Martin Howley; cellist Natalie Haas; flute player Nicole Rabata; and dancer Kieran Jordan share thoughts about woodshedding in the trad world.
info_outline Episode 32-Cuppa Tea with Len Graham 08/13/2019
Episode 32-Cuppa Tea with Len Graham Why learn old songs from your neighbors, when the airwaves are brimming with NEW music? And how can a rooster’s crow affect singing technique? Hear stories behind Len Graham’s life of song in this month’s Cuppa Tea chat. No matter the aperture, apertoire, or repertoire, Len’s got a story (and a song) to suit the situation.
info_outline Episode 31-The Scottish Connection 07/09/2019
Episode 31-The Scottish Connection How do Scottish and Irish music intersect? How are they distinct? And why do so many trendy tunes come from Scotland? Host Shannon Heaton talks with Aaron Jones, Ed Pearlman, Natalie Haas and Hanneke Cassel to learn what it means to be a traditional Scottish musician today—in Scotland, and in the States. Warning: this episode contains very few mentions of haggis… or kilts.
info_outline Episode 30-GMT Plus Nine 06/18/2019
Episode 30-GMT Plus Nine What's the story with speaking Japanese, removing your shoes, and then tucking into a set of Irish reels? Host Shannon Heaton travels around Japan to learn more about Irish and Celtic music in the Land of the Rising Sun… and discovers heaps of common ground, social culture, and cake.
info_outline Episode 29B-Travel Update from Tokyo 06/11/2019
Episode 29B-Travel Update from Tokyo After hitting a small snag in the SECOND Tuesday publishing schedule, IMS will seize the opportunity to launch The Travel Series! Starting next week, host Shannon Heaton will take listeners on a very traditional music tour of Japan, Scotland, and Cape Breton. Just one week to go: start packing your bags for Irish and Celtic music from far-off lands… and the bigger stories behind it.
info_outline Episode 29-Trad on Canvas 05/14/2019
Episode 29-Trad on Canvas How do artists paint trad? And how do they capture the sounds and feelings—and the bigger stories behind Irish music and dance—in two dimensions? In conversations with Brian Vallely, James Gurney, Vincent Crotty, and Catharine Kingcome, host Shannon Heaton explores Travelling pipers, a dilapidated hotel in the Hudson Valley, Dudley Street dance hall in post WWII America, and a country home in County Clare.
info_outline Episode 28-Travel Update from Thornhill 04/15/2019
Episode 28-Travel Update from Thornhill What happens when songs are written with the backdrop of moss covered trees, hillside cottages, and ravens on top of stone walls? And what happens when people play tunes together for hour after hour? (Hint, they need to eat…). Travel with host Shannon Heaton to the charming crow-filled Scottish town of Thornhill. And meet Emily Smith, Jamie McClennan, whom you’ll hear in later IMS episodes.
info_outline Episode 27-Touching Down on Different Fields 04/09/2019
Episode 27-Touching Down on Different Fields Irish Music Stories digs into universal stories through an Irish music and dance lens. This month, host Shannon Heaton talks to ‘trad’ players who are ALSO fluent in non Celtic traditions, to find out how they manage different cultures without fumbling or getting sacked (especially on Super Bowl Sunday).
info_outline Episode 26-Kitchen to Concert Stage 03/12/2019
Episode 26-Kitchen to Concert Stage What happens when old traditional music and dance move onto modern concert stages? Do Celtic traditions get a big boost? Do they lose anything on the road to the performing arts center? Journey with host Shannon Heaton as she speaks with Jean-Michel Veillon, Matthew Olwell, Steph Geremia, Kevin Crawford, Herschel Freeman, Eileen Ivers, Mick Moloney, Brian O’Donovan, and Rory Makem about how ‘trad’ continues to change, dissolve, evolve, and inspire.
info_outline Episode 25-Season Three Overture 02/12/2019
Episode 25-Season Three Overture What’s on tap for IMS 2019? Host Shannon Heaton talks to trad world movers and shakers about instruments on the fringe of the session; Scottish, Cape Breton, and Irish music connections; the long (global) reach of Celtic traditions; practice habits of traditional players and dancers; the intersection between food, drink, and traditional music; and musical connections to the Overworld…. all in Season Three of Irish Music Stories!
info_outline Episode 24-Joe Cooley Meets Clark Kent 01/08/2019
Episode 24-Joe Cooley Meets Clark Kent What was the earliest Irish music live streaming event? Billy McComiskey revisits the night TWO accordion giants gave a concert in the Catskills while a landlord in NYC tuned in; and Rose Flanagan remembers how her dad and his buddy learned tunes on their bikes, for this short between-season installment.
info_outline Episode 23-IMS Playlist 12/11/2018
Episode 23-IMS Playlist What’s a sure-fire way to make your season bright? Check out this PLAYLIST and collection of mini-stories from Laurel Martin, Kevin Crawford, Daithi Sproule, Maeve Gilchrist & Nic Gareiss, Trad Youth Exchange, Liz Carroll, The Makem and Spain Brothers, and Cherish the Ladies.
info_outline Episode 22-Jigs in the Key of P 11/13/2018
Episode 22-Jigs in the Key of P What’s the secret formula for parent-performers? With Chicago-based box player John Williams and Boston guitarist Matt Heaton share two unique approaches to keeping the music and the insight factory going strong, while still tucking in to family. (Hint: it works for non-parents, too.)
info_outline Episode 21-Fifty Shades of Gender Equality 10/09/2018
Episode 21-Fifty Shades of Gender Equality What do Benjamin Moore paints have to do with Irish bands, modern performance practice, and gender balance? Insights from Karan Casey, Brian Ó hAirt, Laura Cortese, Nic Gareiss, Ellery Klein, and Dr. Lisa Coyne uncover different shades of inclusivity in the Irish tradition, 150 years after house paint titans Benjamin and Robert Moore emigrated from County Monaghan to Brooklyn, New York.
info_outline Episode 20-Trad Music Summer Camp 09/11/2018
Episode 20-Trad Music Summer Camp What’s the story with traditional music and dance camps? And with Irish, Scottish and New England fiddling gatherings in every time zones, who heads to these annual events? Host Shannon Heaton talks with Mick Moloney, Kathleen Conneely, Seamus Connolly, Lissa Schneckenburger, Robbie O’Connell, Kevin Crawford, Cecilia Farran, Deirdre Cronin, Fiona Howell, and Brennish Thomson about what motivates instructors and students.
info_outline Episode 19-Fiddle in the Windy City 08/14/2018
Episode 19-Fiddle in the Windy City How did fiddle player and composer Liz Carroll get her groove? How does anybody living a creative life manage? Liz’s thoughts about weathering different creative chapters, appreciating different styles, and savoring all the little moments are an antidote to the frazzled, the doubters, the unsure.
info_outline Episode 18-Wax Cylinders to the World Wide Web 07/10/2018
Episode 18-Wax Cylinders to the World Wide Web Is there magic in the medium? Do different recorded formats influence how we hear and absorb traditional music? Are we missing out on anything now that it’s much easier to record and FIND recordings online? Jeff Kszaiek, Kieran Jordan, Happy Traum, Steph Geremia, Kirsten Allstaff, Elizabeth Sweeney, Jacob Deck, and Natalya Kay help host Shannon Heaton explore early wax cylinder recordings, VR music sessions and YouTube videos, and the special in-between realm of the cassette tape.
info_outline Episode 17-Why Willie and Mary Matter 06/12/2018
Episode 17-Why Willie and Mary Matter Why do old ballads endure? Does it make sense to sing about Willie and Mary, when our playgrounds are filled with Ozzies and Loxleys? Do we really need to say “my love is like a red, red rose,” or can’t we use a modern metaphor and call her really hot? Laura Cortese, Cathy Jordan, Sam Amidon, Robbie O’Connell, and Karan Casey help host Shannon Heaton explore old ballads in a dating app era.
info_outline Episode 16-Pushing All the Right Buttons 05/08/2018
Episode 16-Pushing All the Right Buttons What exactly IS folklore… and tradition (in 2018)? Host Shannon Heaton talks with accordion players Billy, Sean and Mikey McComiskey and folklorist Maggie Holtzberg about stories that transcend the bellows of the button box. Learn why it’s important to “sustain, enshrine, and pass on living traditions.”
info_outline Episode 15-Heartbeat of Irish Music 04/10/2018
Episode 15-Heartbeat of Irish Music What’s at the core of Irish dance music? Host Shannon Heaton talks to Eileen Ivers, Nic Gareiss, Marla Fibish, and Jimmy Keane about trad ‘feel’ and how our instruments, our bodies, our intentions, our culture, and even magical forces shape our rhythmic sense.