The Thistle and Shamrock

Sunday, 6pm on Classical IPR
  • Hosted by Fiona Ritchie

Each week listeners join award-winning host Fiona Ritchie to explore the evolving Celtic musical traditions of Europe and North America. In addition to well-known artists and selections, Ritchie introduces curious listeners to Celtic influences in World and contemporary music, and investigates other distant landscapes and genres.

Click here for complete schedule and show archives.

Fiona Ritchie talks with Chris Thile about his varied musical career and involvement in Carnegie Hall's Migrations: The Making of America festival, featuring many of his award-winning recordings.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Love Songs

Feb 20, 2019

This week, Fiona Ritchie shares not only some of Robert Burns' traditional love verses, but also music featuring the love of land, whisky, and homeland, with Maura O'Connell, Shooglenifty, and Moya Brennan.

Hear insights on song and novel writing, and unique projects uncovering Scottish connections in North America and Europe as Fiona Ritchie chats with multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and singer Brian McNeill.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Thistle & Shamrock: New Year Sounds

Jan 16, 2019

Get the New Year off to a good musical start as Fiona Ritchie features some brilliant new sounds from Birichin, Kevin Burke and John McCutcheon.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Here We Go 2019!

Dec 31, 2018

Celebrate the dawn of the New Year with host Fiona Ritchie and the music of Bachue, Altan, Cathie Ryan, and Eddi Reader.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Celtic Christmas

Dec 26, 2018

Join Fiona Ritchie as she shares reflections on the season of joy with old carols and dance tunes with Cherish the Ladies, Al Petteway and Amy White, Phil Cunningham and Chris Thile.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Gifts

Dec 19, 2018

Take some time over the holidays to allow the spirit of the season to wash over you with artists Cherish the Ladies, Ye Vagabonds and Pierre Bensusan.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Roots And Branches

Dec 13, 2018

This week, Fiona Ritchie explores the evolving sounds that contribute to a new Celtic music, featuring Solas, Robin Bullock and Capercaillie. We hear Celtic music inspired by jazz, classical arrangements and world rhythms.

Settle into the season by tuning into some fresh new music recently arrived at The Thistle & Shamrock offices in the U.S. and Scotland. Fiona Ritchie features new releases from Cherish the Ladies, Keith Murphy and Brass Lassie.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Family Gathering

Nov 28, 2018

A treasure trove of music is the legacy some families pass along across the generations. Join Fiona Ritchie and Mary Ann Kennedy to hear one family's songs of work, worship, land, sea and love.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Islanders

Nov 14, 2018

From far Northerly Shetland to the Hebrides of the West, you'll be immersed in the music of the islands this week. Fiona Ritchie is your guide for an hour of music as fresh as a salt sea breeze, as highly charged as waves tumbling upon deserted beaches and as majestic as mountain wilderness on rocky shorelines.

Join Fiona Ritchie for a chance to explore highlights from the past decade of radio shows, with great musicians and other individuals involved in the traditional arts. This week, we feature music and interviews with John Doyle and Cathie Ryan.

The Thistle And Shamrock: The Long View

Sep 14, 2018

If you've been listening to Thistle for some years, perhaps you'll remember two unforgettable extended medleys of tunes; one from Breton harper and multi-instrumentalist Alan Stivell and the other from Irish fiddler Kevin Burke. You'll be delighted to make their re-acquaintance this week.

This week, join host Fiona Ritchie for more new recordings that have arrived through the summer months, just waiting for an hour of your time. Some of the featured artists included are Low Lily, The Tannahill Weavers, the Yves Lambert Trio, and Open the Door for Three.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: ThistleRadio New

Aug 29, 2018

When the Celtic rhythms go quiet on your radio, you can always stream great songs and tunes through the night and day on ThistleRadio. Hear some of the recently added music from The Unwanted, Luka Bloom and Daygan.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: New Summer Sounds

Jul 19, 2018

New music is always in season on Thistle! This week it's all about the albums that have been gathering in our North Carolina and Scottish mailboxes just waiting for an hour of your time. Included in this week's show are Dylan Foley, 14-year-old Iona Ritchie, The Bevvy Sisters, and Dougie MacLean.

Great songs and tunes are always available to stream on ThistleRadio's 24-hour music channel. Span the decades on ThistleRadio with classic tracks from Battlefield Band and the Bothy Band, as well as Mary Jane Lamond, Session A9, Kris Drever, and Calan.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Dear Jean

Jul 4, 2018

Artists celebrate Jean Ritchie (1922-2015) by singing the songs she taught them and by passing along their wisdom. Host Fiona Ritchie explores the reach of Jean's songs and presents music from a commemorative CD featuring Robin and Linda Williams, Peggy Seeger, Kathy Mattea, John McCutcheon and many more artists who were proud to call "The Mother of Folk" their friend.

Hear music from the acclaimed National Theatre of Scotland production The Strange Undoing Of Prudencia Hart, that celebrates traditional poetry, storytelling and music woven through a supernatural tale. Fiona Ritchie gets to the heart of the tale and explores the music that moves it along, inspired by Border Ballads and Robert Burns.

The Thistle & Shamrock: More New Sounds

May 30, 2018

This week there are rising names to discover and exciting new sounds from Cathy Jordan's Americana trio The Unwanted and Welsh band Calan.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: A Gentle Revolution

May 23, 2018

After fading into obscurity, the Celtic harp made a steady resurgence beginning in the 1970s. We present an hour of inspirational sounds from harpers William Jackson, Wendy Stewart, Moya Brennan and Alan Stivell, the latter having been credited with sowing the seeds of this gentle revolution.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Kickstarters

May 16, 2018

Join host Fiona Ritchie to hear vintage sounds from some of the trailblazers of Celtic music, artists who influenced a generation of musicians across the world.

Artists featured include Clannad, The Chieftains and Battlefield Band.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Brittany

May 11, 2018

Hear intoxicating melodies from the father of the pan-Celtic sound, Alan Stivell, along with Kornog, and The Celtic Fiddle Festival. This week we feature the musicians who have helped shape the contemporary Breton sound.

The Thistle & Shamrock: New Sounds

May 3, 2018

This week Fiona Ritchie handpicks new releases from the musical spring tide that has recently flooded the Thistle offices. Featured are exciting new sounds from "The Musical Nest," a hotbed of learning and creativity on the Islands of Uist in the Outer Hebrides.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Thistle & Shamrock: From Vinyl To MP3

Apr 25, 2018

Hear a handpicked classic collection of recordings with Fiona Ritchie this week. She presents a timeless hour of music spanning the decades, from vinyl masterpieces to pioneering MP3s with artists including Liz Carroll, Gordon Duncan and Alan Stivell.

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