Irish Music Stories Podcast
Irish Music Stories Podcast
Shannon Heaton
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The show about traditional music, and the bigger stories behind it. Host Shannon Heaton talks to musicians, dancers, and scholars about where Irish music has been, where it's going, and what it means to so many people around the globe. Whether you already play fiddle or know dance steps, or you don't know anything about traditional music, the emphasis of this show is creativity, community, and heritage.
Episode 76-The Power of the Local Pub
Boston producer Brian O’Donovan made a lot of space for Irish music and culture. He was dedicated to sharing it widely.  And though he presented music on formal stages and through his WGBH broadcast “A Celtic Sojourn,” casual, public Irish music sessions were ever important and enduring for him. This beloved leader lifted up traditional music. And he elevated the practice of ‘just going to the local pub’ into an act of radical community building. _________________ For playlists, transcripts, links to videos, companion essays, and to contribute to this project, please head to IrishMusicStories.org. ___________________ Thank you to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to this month’s underwriters: 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, Suezen Brown, 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
Oct 14, 2023
11 min
Episode 75-Betting on the Punters
Could traditional music sessions exist without listeners? Are the non-playing listeners in public spaces important for tune players? Here’s a brief podcast adaptation of a video response to this intriguing little question! _________________ For playlists, transcripts, links to videos, companion essays, and to contribute to this project, please head to IrishMusicStories.org. ___________________ Thank you to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to this month’s underwriters:  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, Suezen Brown, Jonathan Duvick, Gerry Corr, Mike Voss, Sean Carroll, Isobel McMahon, Bob Suchor, Finian McCluskey, Rick Rubin, Ken Doyle, Chris Armstrong, Ian Bittle, Chris Murphy, Sharon Murphy, and Kerryleegh Hildebrandt
Sep 28, 2023
7 min
Episode 74-Leaning in and Branching Out
Communities. Forests. Families. All of these different ecosystems contain a lot of different components that weave and work together. And as people, plants, and pests carry on and creep around, rich and sometimes unlikely collaborations emerge. In this episode, with the help of Karine Polwart, Colin Farrell, and Steve Nardone, I’ll explore how friends, neighbors and families can blend; how humans and trees need and inspire one another; and how we also rely on birds, bees.. and rats. _________________ For playlists, transcripts, links to videos, companion essays, and to contribute to this project, please head to IrishMusicStories.org. ___________________ Thank you to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to this month’s underwriters:  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, Suezen Brown, 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
Aug 31, 2023
59 min
Episode 73-Fruitful Fells Part Two
In part one of the Fruitful Fells, we met modern and 19th century activists dedicated to making beauty available to current and future humans. In this episode, we learn how our heroes saved acres of woods and bushels of old ballads, and we follow enduring struggles in the crusade for preservation. As always, there’s plenty of beautiful music woven into these conversations with guests Mike Ryan, Alison Simcox, Douglas Heath, and Karl Alexander. _________________ For playlists, transcripts, links to videos, companion essays, and to contribute to this project, please head to IrishMusicStories.org ___________________ Thank you to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to this month’s underwriters: Gavin McNutt, Sharon Murphy, Brian Unitt, Ken Krause, 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, Suezen Brown, 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
Jul 17, 2023
59 min
Episode 72-Fruitful Fells Part One
There are little creatures, trees, ponds, and pedestrians all over the earth. And there are bushels of ballads about the charms of nature. And while there are ecological activists like Mike Ryan and 19th century Elizur Wright, and song collectors like Francis Child and Olive Dame Campbell who are out to enjoy and save the critters and the old songs… there are others who are less interested in preservation. This two-part story on the creation of Massachusetts’ Middlesex Fells Reservation takes a look at how trees, pedestrians, bikers, motorists, music collectors, and geese intersect. And sometimes collide. _________________   For playlists, transcripts, links to videos, companion essays, and to contribute to this project, please head to IrishMusicStories.org. ___________________ Thank you to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to this month’s underwriters: Laura Johnson, Steve Wilson, Michael Stoner, 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, Suezen Brown, 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
Jun 19, 2023
43 min
Episode 71-Missed Manners
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 IrishMusicStories.org. ___________________   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
Apr 18, 2023
1 hr 5 min
Episode 70-Navigating Tech and Writing Tunes
New inventions and technology can make life—and Irish music—more convenient, more accessible, and sweeter…. and more complicated. This episode examines a few innovations like the washing machine, the personal computer, and to the electric bicycle—though you’ll have to go to Episode 18-Wax Cylinders to the World Wide Web for extensive chat about recording technologies… and also Episode 40-Irish Tunes in the Key of C-19. There are also plenty of Irish tunes here that mention tech and innovations. (Because whether or not you’re actually thinking about short and long clicking sounds, if you call a tune The Telegraph, it’s still a reference to what was once a remarkable new way to transmit messages.) For SHEET MUSIC, downloadable recordings, and videos of all the ORIGINAL TUNES in this episode, please visit the Original Tunes Page. _________________ For playlists, transcripts, links to videos, companion essays, and to contribute to this project, please head to IrishMusicStories.org. ___________________ Thank you to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to this month’s underwriters:  Linda Gore,  Michael Stoner, 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, Chris Murphy, and the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast
Mar 20, 2023
42 min
Episode 69-Tea, Turf, and Wooden Spoons
Lunch routines, laundry, kid art supplies, spoons, and teacups are details of domestic life that don’t usually make it into the photo albums, or the tune titles. But they shape lives. And in the midst of the thousands of jigs and reels out there, the simple (and profound) cup of tea.. and the basket of turf are represented. Here’s a meditation on tunes with prosaic titles and the stimulating stories behind them. _________________ For playlists, transcripts, links to videos, companion essays, sheet music to original tunes in this episode, and to contribute to this project, please head to IrishMusicStories.org. ___________________ Thank you to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to this month’s underwriters:  Jocelyn Codner, Karin Kettenring, 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, Chris Murphy, and the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast
Feb 20, 2023
30 min
Episode 68-20 Years of BCMFest
Presenting concerts can be about a lot more than throwing someone onstage. Matt Smith manages Club Passim in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which has been the central venue and fountain of support for 20 years—and is now the official presenter—for Boston’s Celtic Music Festival.  For Matt, it’s all about creating opportunities for something special and unique to happen. Learn about where this little festival has been, and where it’s going, with or without your Mouse Pants! _________________ For playlists, transcripts, links to videos, companion essays, and to contribute to this project, please head to IrishMusicStories.org. ___________________ Thank you to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to this month’s underwriters:  Elisabeth Carter, Mark Haynes, Michael Craine, 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, Chris Murphy, and the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast.
Jan 9, 2023
27 min
Episode 67-Hunting for Wren Tunes and Tales
Why did kids carry dead birds on sticks all over Ireland on the 26th of December? And what did this all have to do with first century Christian martyr St. Stephen? Just like traditional tunes, which can vary from player to player, the whole history of Wren Day depends on the storyteller. Learn more about the role a melody, a good story (or three), and a tiny bird has played in the centuries-long winter tradition of hunting the wren. _________________ For playlists, transcripts, links to videos, companion essays, and to contribute to this project, please head to IrishMusicStories.org. ___________________ Thank you to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to this month’s underwriters:   John Kerr, Chris Armstrong, Marco Battaglia, Rudolf Tschachtli, Julia Richards, Nina Coyle, Michael Schock, 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, Chris Murphy, and the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast
Dec 19, 2022
28 min
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