It’s National Clean Up Your Room Day. And for those of us preparing homes for a fresh summer, here are two inspiring chats with pub owners Siobhan and Brendan McKinney (Chief O’Neill’s in Chicago), and Tommy McCarthy who owns Boston’s Burren Pub with Louise Costello. They know a thing or two about creating welcoming spaces.

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Siobhan and Brendan McKinney play marches. From Irish Music Stories Podcast Episode 04-Cuppa Tea with McKinney and McCarthy

McKinneys playing marches

I hope you’ll join me as I talk with the McKinneys about what Irish music means to them and to their 17-year strong pub… and as I visit Tommy McCarthy in Somerville, Mass to talk about how he and Louise Costello have put the music and the welcome first since 1996. You’ll also hear from bass player Tom Bianchi, and a poem read with Brian O’Donovan and John Coyne.

Whether you already frequent Irish pubs or you don’t know much about the Irish welcome, this conversation speaks about faith and vision….  and how hospitality is what makes a house a home.

Full music and poetry credits below. And here’s a short Fox News clip from 2013, when Chief O’Neill’s pub was voted one of the top ten Irish bars in the world.

And here’s a tune from Tommy and Louise’s 2013 album launch in the Burren Backroom:

Next month’s episode will air Tuesday June 13th. I’ll explore how Irish music is shared and passed on to students, family, and community (featuring Rose Conway, Patty Furlong, and Margie Mulvahill; Seamus Connolly and Beth Sweeney; John and Josie Coyne; and Sean Clóhessy).

If this is your first IMS episode, I hope you’ll also check out:
Episode 01-Trip to Sligo
Episode 00-Introducing Irish Music Stories
Episode 02-Cuppa Tea with Karan Casey
Episode 03-Every Tuesday at Nine

Shannon Heaton and Tommy McCarthy. From Irish Music Stories podcast Episode 04-Cuppa Tea with McKinneys and McCarthy

Shannon Heaton and Tommy McCarthy


Music and Poetry Heard on IMS Episode 04
all music traditional, unless otherwise indicated

Tune: “The Boy in the Boat” (reel), from Rehearsal recording from circa 2008
Artist: Shannon Heaton (flute), Matt Heaton (guitar)

Tune: “Meaning of Life Theme,” from Production music for this episode
Artist: Matt Heaton (guitar)
Composer: Matt & Shannon Heaton

Tune: “My Love is in America” (reel), from Pajama Sessions
Artist: Matt Heaton (guitar)

Tune: “Lord McDonald” (reel), from The Enduring Magic (coll. of restored original recordings from c. 1944)
Artist: Michael Coleman (fiddle), Ed Geoghegan (piano)

Tune: “Sabai Sabai,” from Pajama Sessions
Artist: Matt Heaton (guitar)
Composer: Matt Heaton

Tune: “Jackson’s Jig,” from Pajama Sessions
Artist: Matt Heaton (guitar)

Tune: “Abbey Reel,” from Pajama Sessions
Artist: Matt Heaton (guitar)

Tune: “Ramblin’ Man Theme,” from Production music for this episode
Artist: Matt Heaton (guitar)
Composer: Matt & Shannon Heaton

Tune: “Meaning of Life Reprise,” from Production music for this episode
Artist: Matt Heaton (guitar)
Composer: Matt & Shannon Heaton

Tune: Marty Fahey March, from Chief O’Neill’s Pub session
Artist: Brendan McKinney (flute), Siobhan McKinney (flute), John Williams (piano)

Tune: “Si Beag Si Mor,” from Pajama Sessions
Artist: Matt Heaton (guitar), Shannon Heaton (flute)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thank you for listening. And thanks to Siobhan and Brendan McKinney and to Tommy McCarthy for the chats. And thank you Brian O’Donovan and John Coyne for reading “So this is Irish Music” with me—and to Dan Accardi for weighing in on the poem. Thanks, as always, to Matt Heaton for the beautiful guitar underscore, and for invaluable support to make these episodes. Once again, thank you to the Mass Cultural Council for helping me build the show—and to all the legislators who invest in arts in the Commonwealth. We’re a good and frugal investment. And I’m grateful for your advocacy for the arts. If YOU’d like to kick in, even small amounts can help defray travel and production costs. Please consider DONATING HERE! Or help people find the show by rating Irish Music Stories on iTunes

Thanks again for reading and listening! I hope you’ll come back for next month’s episode on Handing Down the Tradition, available Tuesday June 13, 2017.