NPR Music & Concerts

Music features, reviews and "first listens" from NPR.  Find more music at WUNC's  Back Porch Music.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Essential Celtic

21 hours ago

Learn how to inject a Celtic core into your music library that reflects past and present, honors tradition and celebrates the spirit of innovation. The Thistle & Shamrock host Fiona Ritchie has some suggestions to enhance any personal music collection.

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For much of the post-Dylan age, and particularly in such self-consciously cerebral genres as indie rock, contemporary folk and Americana, artists have been more likely to command critical respect for cultivating their songwriting voices than for interpreting songs from others' pens. But John Prine, who was once pegged as a new Dylan, seems to be having a fine time toying with that modern musical hierarchy.

"...the Spirituals, in a limited degree, are still in the making."
-James Weldon Johnson

The Thistle & Shamrock: World Beat

Jul 13, 2016

On the latest episode of The Thistle & Shamrock, hear a world of Celtic music with an hour of Afro-, Balkan-, Latin- and country-influenced songs.

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Headliners at the Essence Festival, which marked its 22nd Fourth of July weekend in New Orleans earlier this month, play in the middle of the Superdome, a cavernous arena that, as configured for the fest, seats about 50,000. Up on the stadium's plaza level, a cozier, less formal kind of show takes place. Four multipurpose party rooms deemed Superlounges, which each fit about 1,200 fans, serve as secondary stages.

The Thistle And Shamrock host Fiona Ritchie handpicks a batch of great new songs by rising artists like Andrew Finn Magill and The Jeremiahs, as well as the latest from your favorites.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

The Thistle & Shamrock: New Summer Sounds

Jun 30, 2016

This year's early-summer crop of new releases has yielded some fine music. In this week's episode of The Thistle & Shamrock, host Fiona Ritchie handpicks new sounds from rising artists, along with the latest from some old favorites.

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