FolkWorld #71 03/2020
© Shannon Heaton / Irish Music Stories

Irish Music Stories

Irish Music Stories
Season 2 (FW#68)

Irish Music Stories
Season 1 (FW#65)

Life Through an Irish Music Lens (3)

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.

Episode 25-Season Three Overture

Emily Smith & Jamie McClennan

Artist Video Emily Smith @ FROG

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…

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.

Episode 27-Touching Down on Different Fields

Aaron Jones

Artist Video Aaron Jones

What happens when ‘trad’ musicians are ALSO fluent in non Celtic traditions? When you’re dealing with cultural traditions (with all the music and the community and social expectations), how do you manage without fumbling or getting sacked? Host Shannon Heaton explores the art and sport of playing on different teams with Paddy Panayotis League, Maeve Gilchrist, Andrew Finn Magill, Hanz Araki, and Nicole Rabata. And revisit February 3rd, 2019… Superbowl 53…. the day Boston, Massachusetts made history.

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.

Episode 29-Trad on Canvas

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill

Artist Video Martin Hayes @ FROG

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.

Episode 30-GMT Plus Nine

Is there something strange about speaking Japanese, and removing your shoes BEFORE tucking into a set of Irish reels? Host Shannon Heaton travels around Japan with Tokyo-based trad band tricolor to learn more about the Irish and Celtic music scenes in the Land of the Rising Sun… and discovers heaps of common ground, social culture, and cake.

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.

Episode 32-Cuppa Tea with Len Graham

Liz Carroll

Artist Video Liz Carroll @ FROG

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.

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.

Episode 34-Fairy Forts and Changelings

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

Artist Video Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

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.

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 me digest the meaning behind the menu. And I’ve also got tasty tales from Kevin Doyle, Liz Carroll, John Williams, and Kathleen Conneely.

Episode 36-Tune Tale with Billy McComiskey

Where do the tunes come from? When does inspiration hit? Shannon learns that it’s all about timing, in this short story about a jig by accordion player Billy McComiskey.

Shannon Heaton

Photo Credits:
(1) Irish Music Stories,
(5) Liz Carroll,
(6) Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh
(2) Emily Smith,
(3) Aaron Jones,
(4) Martin Hayes,
(7) Shannon Heaton
(by Walkin' Tom).

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