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Sunday > YPR Program Guide > Program Listings > The Thistle & Shamrock

The Thistle & Shamrock

Saturdays, 7pm

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Celtic musical traditions continue to evolve in Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, England, Wales and in North America. This evolution is the raw material from which Fiona Ritchie produced her weekly program of music and cultural heritage from studios at the foothills of the Scottish highlands.


October 3
Music and song has carried the story of the Battle of Harlaw through six centuries.  Fiddler Bonnie Rideout led a gathering of musicians to record ancient music of the battle. Travel back in time with them and music historian John Purser who tells us of this legendary conflict in the age-old struggle between war and peace.

October 10
Bass Rock
Contributions by acoustic and electric bass to Celtic music are subtle, imaginative and, with players like Alain Genty, firmly in the foreground.

October 17
Len Graham
Fiona Ritchie meets the legendary singer and song collector from Northern Ireland to chat about the connections between Scotland, Ireland and Appalachia, with plenty of time for some songs from Len’s long career.

Octotber 24
New Releases and Debuts
Host Fiona Ritchie handpicks new sounds of this summer, combining artist debuts with the latest from musicians whose music has helped shape the Celtic sound.

October 31
Tales for All Hallow’s Eve
Hear supernatural tales in music from Celtic roots to mark the transition from old year to new in the ancient calendar.

November 7
Travel through the Canadian Maritimes and out to the west to hear the vibrant traditions of authentic Celtic music from Canada.

November 14
The Carrying Stream
It took centuries for a ballad like “Barbara Allen” to work its way through the British Isles and across the Atlantic. Now the music flows freely back and forth as musicians from both sides of the ocean explore and fuse flavors from Celtic, Appalachian and Old Time music. This week they include Dolly Parton, John Doyle, Jean Ritchie and Anaïs Mitchell.

November 22
Hometown Song
From Ewan MacColl’s “Dirty Old Town” to “Festival Lights” by the McCalmans, hear how artists from both sides of the Atlantic are inspired to commemorate their homes.

November 28
The Gathering
From cottage hearthsides in the pre-broadcasting age to the pubs and back porches of today’s session scene, enjoy music that celebrates the gathering of families and friends.

December 5
Luka Bloom and Karan Casey are best known for traditional and contemporary folk song.  Hear them and others working with jazz artists to craft a different style of music.

December 12
Midwinter Meditation
Travel into the traditions of midwinter through the spellbinding music of the season.

December 19
A Child’s Christmas
Welsh singer-songwriter and broadcaster Cerys Matthews recorded “A Child’s Christmas” by Dylan Thomas to mark the poet’s centenary year in 2014.  Cerys tells host Fiona Ritchie all about the project, set to original music she created with Mason Neely, and transports us to Christmastime in Wales by narrating excerpts from this timeless holiday classic.

December 26
A Festive Celtic Celebration
Join Fiona Ritchie to celebrate the season by exploring festive songs, carols and dances from traditions old and new.

January 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.



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