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.

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.

The Thistle & Shamrock: The Road Of Tears

Apr 18, 2018

Although the scenes of immigration may change, the tragedies of displaced people are replayed with each passing year. Fiona Ritchie's selections this week include traditional broadsheet ballads and music hall choruses from artists like Dolores Keane, Mick Moloney, and Battlefield Band.

The Thistle & Shamrock: New Writing

Apr 12, 2018

Join Fiona Ritchie as she features a wealth of brand new music, including festival commissions and soundtracks. Artists include Gillian Frame, Michael Rooney and The Macalla Orchestra, John Doyle, John McCusker, and Mike McGoldrick.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Harlaw

Mar 28, 2018

Fiona Ritchie invites you to travel back across six centuries with music historian John Purser. Fiddler Bonnie Rideout and her musical guests perform the ancient music commemorating the legendary events of the Battle of Harlaw in 1411.

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

The Thistle & Shamrock: Singing The Land

Mar 21, 2018

In this program, Fiona Ritchie guides you to some very special landscapes. We feature music from Karine Polwart's award-winning theatrical event "Wind Resistance," originally presented in association with the Edinburgh International Festival. We'll also hear excerpts from fiddler Duncan Chisholm's "Sandwood," named for the finest and least accessible beach in Scotland.

We mark the 10th anniversary of the Swannanoa Gathering's Traditional Song Week with more music and interview highlights from Julee Glaub Weems, David Holt, and Jean Ritchie.

The Thistle & Shamrock: The Long View

Feb 7, 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. Make their re-acquaintance this week!

The Thistle & Shamrock: Songs Of The Bard

Jan 31, 2018

Discover and embrace the contemporary appeal of the verses and timeless music written more than 200 years ago by Scotland's National Bard, Robert Burns.

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

Join us for our second week of new year releases, with artists including Jim and Susie Malcolm, Aurora Celtic, and the young musicians of Sgoil Chiùil na Gàidhealtachd.

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

Lift your winter spirits and warm your heart with the New Year's brand new releases, with artists including Anna & Elizabeth, Open the Door for Three, and Matthew Byrne.

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