Thistle and Shamrock

Su 7-8pm

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.

Fiona Ritchie
Fiona Ritchie
Credit Roy Summers/Scottish Field / Roy Summers/Scottish Field

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For more than three decades, Fiona Ritchie has taken public radio audiences on a weekly journey through the world of Celtic music.

The Scottish-born host of NPR’s Thistle & Shamrock, began her radio career in North Carolina at WFAE in Charlotte. She recently collaborated with Doug Orr, president emeritus of Warren Wilson College, on a new book:  Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia (UNC Press/2014)

We're celebrating St. Patrick's Day in true public radio form - a conversation with the award-winning host of NPR's The Thistle & Shamrock. Fiona Ritchie has spent more than 30 years digging into the evolving Celtic music tradition, bringing public radio listeners well-established and newly emerging recording artists in Europe and North America.Today, we got her to dish on the Irish, her children and NPR, too.

You're about to watch one of the best fiddlers on the planet and a subtle guitar master work their magic. For too many of us, Irish music is something that merely gets trotted out around this time of year, associated with St. Patrick's Day and the coming of spring — and made a cliche by commercialism and whatever other shallow notions make cliches what they are.

For seven generations her family has passed down English, Scottish and Irish ballads that crossed the Atlantic with their ancestors in the 1700s. Join Fiona and an intimate audience at the Swannanoa Gathering's Traditional Song Week to enjoy Appalachian ballads and stories of a unique singer, author, tradition bearer and cultural treasure: Sheila Kay Adams.