The Curious Ear: People First, Music Second

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  1. Radio Ballad #2: The Session

    In Radio Ballad #2 we explore the mysterious Irish music ‘Session’ - what’s really going on between the musicians, why do the tunes all have multiple names, and is an audience really necessary to a good session or not?

    Featuring interviews with the Morro Bay Irish Session, a group of musicians who have been meeting every week in Central California for 12 years to play tunes and enjoy the ‘craic.’

    Find a session near you—wherever you are in the world—at


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  2. The Gloaming - The Music Show

    The Gloaming is Martin Hayes, fiddle, Iarla Ó Lionáird, vocal, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, hardanger fiddle, Dennis Cahill, guitar and Thomas Bartlett, piano.

    Live performances in The Music Show studio:

    • Song 44: Trad arr. The Gloaming
    • Sailors Bonnet Trad arr. The Gloaming

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  3. Irish Music Stories Podcast: Episode 01-Trip to Sligo

    This inaugural episode tells the tale of Cormac Gaj and the band he formed with fellow Boston tweens. I learn about their amazing journey to the All Ireland music competition in Sligo; and I dig into what it meant to Cormac… and to all the parents, teachers, and peers who were in on the qualifying round in New Jersey, and the big Fleadh (contest) in Ireland. Whether you already play the fiddle or you don’t know anything about trad music or dance, you’ll join me, Shannon Heaton as I visit Boston and Dublin Comhaltas branches (Irish music schools); Mary MacNamara’s kitchen in Tulla, where she teaches music and organizes Irish music exchanges; and Cormac’s living room where he tells his big story. Great stories here from Chicago fiddler Liz Carroll, too. There’s plenty of music here, too. Full music listings and information at

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  4. The Irish Rockaways (Episode 3) - Dancing at the Crossroads

    Dancing at the Crossroads explores Irish and Irish-American music. In Episode 3, we take a trip to New York’s Rockaways, once known as the Irish Riviera. Featured artists include Paddy Noonan, Joanie Madden and Cherish the Ladies, Michael Coleman, The Flanagan Brothers, Mickey and Mary Carton, the Noel Henry Showband, Hellcat Maggie, Brendan Ward and his Orchestra, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra.!7c1b0

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  5. Chicago Fiddler’s Music Is a Hit in Ireland

    Irish-American fiddler Liz Carroll joins guitarist John Doyle on her latest CD, In Play. Her music made it from the American Midwest into the canon of Irish traditional tunes. Carroll talks to Melissa Block about the satisfaction of hearing her songs played at Irish fiddle sessions.


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