“I think a lot of people came to the Beatles because it was sexy or cool. But musical people were blown away by the music. What I was hearing was the harmony and the chords and the dynamism and beauty of the songs. It totally blew my head off.” —Dáithí Sproule

This month I talk to singer and guitarist Dáithí Sproule about how he has integrated the beautiful songs he learned as a kid in the Gaeltacht with the pop music that opened his heart to harmony and arranging.

Download | iTunes | RSS

Daithi shakes Randal Bays’s hand, as he joins Liz Carroll and Billy McComiskey onstage

There’s great music here, too, from Altan, Julie Fowlis, Randal Bays, Trían, and thoughtful underscore from Matt Heaton. (Full music credits below.)

It was fun to dig into how Daithi found his voice—and also how it feels for him to share these songs. He likened it to a meal you might make for food lovers.

“Instead of giving them a burger or a lump of steak, this is the most beautiful meal I can give you now. And I may not be doing it right, I might have messed it up, I may not be able to make it as beautiful as it needs to be. But that’s what I’m doing. And therefore, I suppose I have a confidence in that. I put my trust in that—that I’m singing something for you that I think is beautiful. And I hope that you feel something in that. I think that’s what it’s about.”

Whether you already play Irish music, or you know very little about it, Dáithí’s thoughts on beauty, respect, and mindfulness feel like universally lovely approach to any project..

Here’s Dáithí playing with Trían, with fiddler Liz Carroll and Billy McComiskey on accordion:

And here’s Dáithí singing “Lord Franklin” with with fiddler Kevin Burke:


Next month (Tuesday December 12th), I’ll look back on Season One. Then I’ll hit the road to collect stories for Season Two, which will air Tuesday February 13, 2018.

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
– Episode 04 – Cuppa Tea with McKinneys and McCarthy
– Episode 05 – Handed Down
Episode 06 – The Backer
Episode 07 – The Piper
Episode 08 – Miss McCleod’s Reel at 113
– Episode 09 – Want of Wit

Music Heard on IMS Episode 10
all music traditional, unless otherwise indicated

Tune: “Cup of Tea” (reel), from Rehearsal Recording, 2017
Artist: Shannon Heaton (flute), Matt Heaton (guitar)

Song: “Beidh Aonach Amárach,” from Best of Altan
Artist: Altan featuring Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

Air: “Johnny Seoighe,” instrumental, from the Crow in the Sun, 2008
Artist: Dáithí Sproule

Song: “Blackbird,” Lon-dubh download
Artist: Julie Fowlis

Tune: “Heartstrings Theme” from Production Music Made for Irish Music Stories
Artist: Matt Heaton

Song: “Johnny Seoige,” from Trian, 1992
Artist: Trían featuring Daithi Sproule, Liz Carroll, Billy McComiskey

Tunes: “Dark Haired Lass, Biddy from Muckross” (reels), from Blackwater, 1996
Artist: Altan

Tune: “Hometown Lullaby” from Production Music Made for Irish Music Stories
Artist: Matt Heaton

Song: “Grapefruit Moon,” from Overland, 2004
Composer: Tom Waits
Artist: Randal Bays & Daithi Sproule

Song: “My Dearest Dear,” from Trían, 1992
Artist: Trian featuring Daithi Sproule, Liz Carroll, Billy McComiskey

Tunes: The Stage; the Western,” from Traditional Music of Ireland, 1995
Artist: James Kelly, Paddy O’Brien & Daithi Sproule

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thank you for listening. Thank you to Dáithí for the great conversation. Thanks always to Matt Heaton for the beautiful underscore for the show—and for my days. And THANK you to Brian Benscoter, Seamus Connolly, David Laveille, Parker Abercrombie, and Brad Anderson who helped underwrite this month’s episode. Thank you for your donations. Thank you for reaching out and encouraging this project—and me! I’m so lucky to pull these Irish music stories together, and donations help me share this show with everybody.

Please consider DONATING HERE.
And please help people find the show by rating IMS on iTunes.

Thank you for reading and listening! I hope you’ll come back for next month’s episode, available Tuesday December 12th, 2017.