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. 

MAY 2016

7       Tales of the Riverbank - Sources of life and timeless inspirations to song-makers, rivers run through many of our well-loved and best-known landscapes.  Their quiet country banks and neglected docksides are now often the focus of rural rediscovery, urban regeneration, and seaside redevelopment.  Hear songs about grand city quays and unspoiled country streams.

14     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.

21     Swannanoa Memories - part 2

28    Song Beat - Hebridean tweed workers’ songs, rowing songs, hiking songs, mouth music – their lyrics take a back seat to their integral rhythms that lighten the work. Get into the rhythm of the song this week with Catherine-Anne MacPhee, Ossian, Christy Moore and many more.


APRIL 2016

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

9              Archie Fisher - A chance to revisit Fiona’s time with the legendary singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer and broadcaster Archie Fisher, with music from across the decades of Archie’s remarkable career in the transatlantic folk scene.

16           Notes in the Wilderness - From traditional tributes and contemporary songs of concern for our wild places, this week’s music sings of the unspoiled landscapes we love and challenges us to sustain them.

23           Wayfaring Strangers - We mark Fiona’s Celtic-Americana event at TradFest, Edinburgh’s annual showcase of Traditional Arts and Culture, by re-tracing the musical migration from Scotland through Ulster to Appalachia.

30           Alan Reid - Marking their shared event at Edinburgh’s TradFest, Fiona revisits an encounter with her old friend Alan Reid, the singer and long-time Battlefield Band member who was also her very first radio interviewee.  They reminisce about that meeting and reflect on musical journeys.


MARCH 2016

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

12   Irish Pairs - Few musical sounds make a more honest and direct statement than duos in the Irish tradition.  Enjoy hearing them combine voices, guitars, fiddles, flutes and other acoustic instruments

19   Dáithí Sproule - Meet a gentle architect of today’s Irish music sound and one of its greatest guitar accompanists as Fiona meets Dáithí Sproule at the Swannanoa Gathering’s Traditional Song Week

26   New Spring Sounds - The flow of music is never ending and a spring tide of new recordings is bound to yield some great music.  Fiona handpicks some of the best new sounds from rising artists along with the latest from your favorites


FEB. 2016

6              From Vinyl to mp3 - Music collections have migrated from record shelves to disc drives but a great performance is there for posterity regardless of the storage media.  Enjoy an hour of Celtic masterpieces from across a quarter century

13           Words, Verses, Music - From romance to fairytales, poetry tells the story this week, with songs and tunes inspired by poets’ lives and works

20           Chansons - From “chant de marin” or sea shanties of Brittany to the songs of the “voyageurs” of the Canadian fur trade, enjoy the French songs that extend branches of the Celtic music tree from the old world to the new

27           The Witness - Fiona talks with writer Jamie Jauncey about the role of music in his novel “The Witness.”  As a pianist Jamie also shares the music of his life, as well as introducing compositions inspired by his book.


JAN. 2016

2              New Year New Music - Look forward to the New Year with a batch of the latest releases tracking the evolving traditions of music from Celtic roots.

9              Raise a Glass - Many a fine song has been sung around the drinking table to celebrate good company, lament absent friends, and bravely toast whate’er may come in the year ahead. Join us to sing some choruses with Tony Cuffe, the Voice Squad and other rousing voices.  (Drink - and sing - responsibly!)

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

23           The Road of Tears - The story of the refugee is retold in different corners of the world with each passing era.  Along the trail, songs will bear witness to the true-life immigrant experience.  Today Battlefield Band, Mick Moloney and Mary Black join the artists continuing the tradition of singing their stories

30           Songs of the Bard - Hear great singers in the intoxicating embrace of the songs of Robert Burns, a songwriter and collector for the ages





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