The Thistle & Shamrock on WUOT

Saturdays from 8-9 p.m.

Created weekly in the foothills of the Scottish Highlands, The Thistle and Shamrock is one of NPR's longest-running and most popular music offerings. This vibrant and engaging program is produced exclusively for public radio stations, and is the most listened-to Celtic music program in the world. 

JUNE 2018

3     The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart
Hear music from an acclaimed National Theatre of Scotland production that celebrates traditional poetry, storytelling and music woven through a supernatural tale.

10   Sea Sounds - Images and moods of the sea emerge this week from traditional to new music, including the classical sounds of William Jackson’s compositions for fiddles, pipes, woodwinds and strings.

17   Combos - We revel in the joyous sounds of multi-instrumental line-ups and embrace the unconventional when considering “what-goes-with-what”.

24    The Songs of Robert Tannahill - Explore the legacy of the 17th century weaver poet whose work has been immortalized internationally in folk songs he influenced, including “Wild Mountain Thyme” and “Waltzing Matilda”.


MAY 2018

5             Brittany - Hear intoxicating melodies from the father of the pan-Celtic sound, Alan Stivell, along with guitarists, flute players and singers that have shaped the contemporary Breton sound.

12           Kickstarters - In the 1970s a handful of globetrotting bands kicked off the international following for music from Celtic roots. Hear vintage sounds from some of the trailblazers.

19           A Gentle Revolution - Experience the massive international impact of the small harp, building momentum since the 1970s in music from Celtic roots.

26           More New Sounds - Fiona handpicks more of the best new sounds from rising artists along with the latest from your favorites.


APRIL 2018

7     New Writing - From instrumental commissions to new singer-songwriter output, we uncover a wealth of recently composed gems this week.

14    The Road of Tears - The story of the refugee is retold in different corners of the world through every era.  Along the trail, songs bear witness to the true-life immigrant experience.

21     From Vinyl to mp3 - Music collections have migrated from record shelves to disc drives and up into the cloud but a great performance is there for posterity regardless of the means of storage and sharing. Enjoy an hour of Celtic masterpieces from across a quarter century.

28    New Sounds - The flow of music is never ending and a spring tide of new recordings has brought some great music into the Thistle library. Fiona handpicks some of the best new sounds.


MARCH 2018

3  Swannanoa Memories - part 1. Join Fiona at the Swannanoa Gathering in the North Carolina mountains, for  highlights from her many musical encounters at Traditional Song Week, including  Brian McNeill, Sheila Kay Adams, and Cathy Ryan. 

10  Swannanoa Memories - part 2 . Join Fiona at the Swannanoa Gathering in the North Carolina mountains, for more  highlights from her many musical encounters at Traditional Song Week, including  Julee Glaub Weems, Claudine Langille, and Jean Ritchie. 

17  Singing the Land. This week features music from Karine Polwart's theatrical event Wind Resistance,  originally presented in association with the Edinburgh International Festival,  and from fiddler Duncan Chisholm’s Sandwood Bay, named for the finest and least  accessible beach in Scotland. 

24  Harlaw.  Music and song have carried the story of the Battle of Harlaw across six centuries. Fiddler Bonnie Rideout and a gathering of musical friends recorded  ancient music that commemorates this battle. Historian John Purser guides us  through the story of the legendary conflict in the age-old struggle between war  and peace. 

31  Spring is in the Airs. For Joe McKenna, Kim Robertson, Liz Carroll and Jacqui McShee, spring is  certainly in the airs, and also the jigs, reels and songs. Join us for a musical  scene of the season.



3  The Long View  - Fiona selects a few extended arrangements of traditional tunes, including  groundbreaking recordings by Kevin Burke and Alan Stivell. 

10  ThistleRadio Classics  - An hour of some well-loved classic tracks from our ThistleRadio music channel,  winner of ‘Best Music Show: Country/Folk/Blues’ in the 2017 Online Radio Awards.

17  Clear Sounds  - Enjoy the pure beauty of the unaccompanied voice - solo and layered – along with virtuoso solo instrumentalists, featuring Jean Redpath, Little Windows, and  Maura O’Connell

24   Songs of the Times  - Old ballads offer fascinating glimpses into the past but what do today’s  songwriters say about our contemporary concerns? Find out this week with Karan  Casey, Karine Polwart, Battlefield band and more.



6      At the Edge - Explore an evolving Celtic roots sound, inspired by jazz and classical arrangements and driven by contemporary and world rhythms.

13   New Year, New Music 1 - Tune into 2018 with some great music from recent deliveries to the Thistle mailboxes in Scotland and the U.S

20   New Year, New Music 2 - Tune into 2018 with some great music from recent deliveries to the Thistle mailboxes in Scotland and the U.S

27    Songs of the Bard - Join us in marking the annual celebrations of the birth of Robert Burns with an hour of musical innovation and tradition inspired by his legacy.

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