Fiddle in the White City

Cuppa Tea chat with Liz Carroll about relationships and time
Episode Trailer

How did fiddle player and composer Liz Carroll get her groove? How does anybody living a creative life manage?

Liz’s thoughts about weathering different creative chapters, appreciating different styles, and savoring all the little moments are an antidote to the frazzled, the doubters, the unsure.


Thank you to everybody for listening. And a special thank you to this month’s underwriters: Brian Benscoter, Scott Maurer, Michael Wilson, and Billie Neal for supporting this episode.

Episode 19-Fiddle in the White City
Cuppa Tea chat with fiddler Liz Carroll about relationships and time
This Irish Music Stories episode aired August 14, 2018

Speakers, in order of appearance
>> Shannon Heaton: flute player, singer, composer, teacher, and host of Irish Music Stories 
>> Nigel Heaton: young announcer for Irish Music Stories, and co-producer of this story
>> Sam Amidon: Musician/singer from Brattleboro, Vermont who is both a practitioner of Irish traditional fiddle and a composer/inventor of neo-folk and multi-media performances
>> Liz Carroll: Chicago-based fiddle player and composer who has been named All-Ireland champ, Grammy nominee, National Heritage Fellow, and TG4 Cumadóir
>> Beveridge family (ending montage): musicians and artists from Woodland Hills, CA


>> Shannon: Before I start the show, I wanted to thank everybody for listening. And for sharing episodes with your friends. And a very special thank you to this month’s donors, read by my son, Nigel.

>> Nigel: Thank you to Scott Maurer, Mike Wilson, Billie Neal, and Brian Benscoter.

>> Shannon: If you can kick in, please visit Your support helps me pull together different voices and views of the world… all through an Irish music and dance lens. THANK you!

And… I’m Shannon Heaton. And This is Irish Music Stories, the show about traditional music, and the bigger stories behind it …

[ Music: “Drying Out,” from Dear Old Erin’s Isle: Irish Traditional Music from America
Artist/Composer: Liz Carroll ]

…Like what Sam Amidon thinks of when I say Liz Carroll:

>> Shannon: I’m gonna say a fiddle player, and you tell me what you think…

>> Sam: Yeah.

>> Shannon: Liz Carroll.

>> Sam: Uh, light, not forced, but still deeply driving. Overall just, beauty and mastery. This is how music is played.

>> Shannon: To call Liz Carroll an ‘accomplished’ musician feels like an understatement. She’s won All Ireland fiddle contests, was nominated for a Grammy, played for Obama, was named National Heritage Fellow in 1994. Most Irish musicians have seen her perform or know her albums or play her tunes; most of which are included in her book, Collected. She’s been busy. But for all her creative output, Liz questions herself.

>> Liz: I’m never sure that I’m doing enough. I’ve started to feel a little bit better about my world. I feel like putting the book out was a good thing for me to do. 

[ Music: “Hometown Lullaby,” from Production Music Made for Irish Music Stories
Artist/Composer: Matt Heaton ]

And then I was  really proud of doing an album that was not on a label the first time. I’ve started to put up, like, a series of tunes in one week. And I’ve been trying to learn how to do the chords. I feel like I continue to learn, but questioning, am I doing enough? 

>> Shannon: Liz and I got together just as I was starting the Irish Music Stories Podcast.  You can hear some of our conversation (including the famous Bridge Ceili Band story) in my inaugural “Trip to Sligo” episode. But we talked about more than woodblocks in our Cuppa Tea chat that morning.

>> Shannon: Years ago you made me blueberry muffins, which is really nice!

>> Liz: The blueberries are out today!

>> Shannon: Yeah! (Laughter)

I’m really excited to get a chance to talk to you, Liz, about all sorts of stuff you’ve done over the years. That you’re doing now. You know, you have traveled around the world and you’ve met a lot of folks and made a lot of time for people, which I’m always impressed by how much, uh, energy you can spare for all of us. Can you tell us a little about how you got into playing Irish music?

>> Liz: Yeah, I can. Um,

 I think I always liked it. Of course, I liked sports as well. So, if I went into a shop I was equally interested in the balls. But I also, I was also that kid if I saw a toy instrument at all, I was very attracted to them. So, my dad played the accordion. And I know that early on, because I have pictures of it, I got a toy accordion. It’s actually sitting out there, do you see it up there?

>> Shannon: I do. A piano accordion.

>> Liz: A little piano accordion. (Accordion noises and laughter)

[ Music: “Heartstrings Theme,” from Production Music Made for Irish Music Stories
Artist/Composer: Matt Heaton ]

It came with a little chart and stuff about how to play Happy Birthday and things like that. But I was little and I think I abandoned the chart. I think I was better at figuring out where the notes were with my little head than I was reading. I know that my first tune on that little accordion was On Top of Old Smokey, and I taught it to the babysitter. Uh, what was her name again? Um, Bernice, Bernice O’Connell. Wow! And she, so I remember teaching her, my tune.

>> Shannon: (Accordion noise) The smell of mold. Ha, ha, ha!

>> Liz: But in any case, my brother actually ended up stepping on the accordion and in the midst of me crying about it my dad went walking by and put his Hohner on my lap and kept walking. I looked at it and went, “all right!” So I started on the accordion and started finding tunes and they were Irish tunes or On Top of Old Smokey, and Happy Birthday, and Mary Had a Little Lamb and things like that.

I think the next instrument that came into the house was a whistle. My folks went shopping on a Saturday for Irish sausage. They went to Winston Sausage to get the black pudding and the rashers. In America we always called it bacon. But it’s thicker, more like a ham deal than an Oscar Meyer deal…

>> Shannon: Do you think that affected the music?

God it had to! How much grease were we all eating! Ha, ha, ha! It’s very funny really, if you think about it. But anyway, at the counter, one time, my parents brought home a Clarke whistle, because it was sitting there at the check out. And handed that to me. And I was doing Irish dancing. I started that when I was eight years old. And I remember that the first thing I tried on the whistle was, actually, inexplicably, I tried The King of the Fairies. Now, that’s not easy. So, it goes down! And I immediately was, “What is going on with this?” So, to try to figure out how to find that tune was more than a chore. But I think I was already able to play it on the accordion, which is why I was trying it.

 I was nine when I started on the fiddle. I have my little story that I really wanted the piano. And actually when we moved into our apartment, there was a piano there. But my parents did not let them leave it, because they thought we’d be banging and making noise. So, they let the piano go. So, when I tried, so, I was going to start lessons and, um, and they bought an upright piano and then could not get it up the front steps and could not get it up the back steps. And the same nun taught the fiddle. My mom said, “Well, Grandpa plays the fiddle and you can play with him and you can bring a fiddle with you and you can’t bring a piano with you.” And so I started. And I tell you what, I had it the first day, and I loved it; immediately tried to find all my tunes, including probably The King of the Fairies, AND On Top of Old Smokey.

[ Music:“King of the Fairies,” from Cover the Buckle
Artist: Seán Clohessy, Sean McComiskey, and Kieran Jordan ]

>> Shannon: You were taking fiddle lessons from..?

>> Liz: A nun at school. Um, and she was teaching classical. Her name was Sister Francine. She was a Dominican Nun. I almost can’t remember the lessons, but I can remember that she knew when you’d practiced and when you didn’t. And I know that she made me move and do better than what I was coming in with. She’d be grabbing  my right arm and say MOVE that bow, Liz, MOVE it! (Laughs) I remember that!

She was great and she continued to be great. And got that I played Irish music right off the bat. I have an old playbill from one of the grade school’s concerts, and I’m there playing some little simple tune. Maybe it was just long notes, but I also was down to play my accordion, playing The Boys of Bluehill. 

>> Shannon: She understood that nurturing your own interests were only going to help the half notes!

>> Liz: Right, she was very welcoming with the whole idea.

[ Music: “Boys of Bluehil,” from Acadia Trad School Concert
Artist: Jimmy Keane (accordion) ]

>> Shannon: Your family was living on the South Side of Chicago at this point.

>> Liz: We were in Visitation Parish. And we were on the South side of the Boulevard. We had a two flat there. My parents bought that two flat. I think that neighborhood was changing at that time. The prices were going down. It was going from being a Lily White neighborhood to it being, like, kind of Hispanic and maybe it was going to be a Black neighborhood. And there were a load of people that were ready to wander off given those circumstances. My parents moved in.

>> Shannon: Nice, and were you going to local sessions at this point yet?

>> Liz: Well, this place called Hanley’s House of Happiness. My dad, in particular, really liked Joe Cooley who was playing at Hanley’s. And then there’d be a band of musicians playing. Often, Johnny McGreevey, even Eleanor Neary was a part of that, and a nice bunch of people. Really a nice bunch of people. But I didn’t know them yet. And, I swear to God, they never thought, I think, of bringing me to an Irish music session when I was playing the accordion, which says something about my accordion playing. But when I started the fiddle they were like, “We’ve got to see where she can go.” 

>> Shannon: So her folks had moved to Chicago from Ireland. They were buying Irish bacon and socializing at Irish clubs. That’s in Liz’s music, too. Here’s the first track from the 1978 album she made with Marty Fahey. It’s a reel she named after her mom’s home in Limerick. And then she goes into The Brocca Reel, named after her dad’s home in Offaly.

[Music: “Monemohill Reel & The Brocca Reel,” from A Friend Indeed
Artist/Composer: Liz Carroll ]

>> Liz: My early memories are of going to a pub and it was on Ashland Ave. It had a pub on the first floor and there were meetings of the Irish music association on the second floor. And I remember that there was a player piano on the first floor. I was very attracted to that. And going upstairs meant a round group of people playing. I remember sitting in the back, rather a dusty room with a wood floor. And people playing and just picking up my fiddle and just sitting in the back. I could put that fiddle away and run around for an hour with other kids, who weren’t necessarily playing but were there.  Children of the other musicians. And I could hear a tune in the distance that I knew or I liked and I could run up and take my fiddle out, and stay there for a while. Very nice existence, Shannon! I mean, no expectations. The only person that was pushing in any way was Sister Francine. Ha, ha, ha!

>> Shannon: You have these memories of a teacher who was really trying to get you to use your bow and really learn the fundamentals of playing the instrument. And meanwhile you’re enjoying going to these social events where there’s music and not a lot of  expectation heaped on you.

[ Music: “The Lough Derg Cross (Air)” from Religion, Metalwork, And Ceramics
Artist/Composer: Liz Carroll ]

>> Liz: Exactly, that’s really it. That’s really it and what a nice thing. I’ve always felt that, with this Irish music, that it’s really self driven. It’s like you want to get somewhere, and it’s really internal. Ha, ha, ha.

The Irish show shifted from Hanley’s to Hogan’s to eventually to the Hibernian club and we could all make it there and, uh, with the dancing school we also got to play for fellow dancers which was a great thing for me, by the way because there’s nothing like playing for a feis or playing for your dancing school, and having to keep going, and keep that pace. So it was fun.

[ Music: “After Hours Theme,” from Production Music Made for Irish Music Stories
Artist/Composer: Matt Heaton ]

You just went in and just played. But I did learn this, when I came back to my house and my kitchen, I slowed many things down for myself. The grace note that I thought was coming out, I’d listen to myself on the cassette and I’m like, “I don’t hear it. What happened? Why is it not there?” And there was a lot of self figuring out and fixing. But like sitting down and just getting the tunes was kind of like that thing on SNL where they have the two people talking, you’re talking at the same time.

>> Liz and Shannon together: We’re incapable of talking right now (laughing).

>> Liz: I remember the night at the 65-11 club where Kevin Henry was pouring Guinness into his flute. As he said he thought it sounded better when he did it. He said it sealed the cracks or something or would seal whatever was happening, so that to maybe his ears, maybe not to our ears, to be honest. You know like when you put a mute on your fiddle? To YOU it sounds awesome, it sounds really great. It’s really fun and I don’t know what that is, it’s almost like playing the viola. The fiddle gets this low end and I feel it there. To the listener, thank God, “please take the mute off.” So I think that may be Kevin’s idea of the Guinness.

[ Music: “The Ash Plant,” from The Windy Gap
Artist: Laurence Nugent with Kevin Henry (flutes) ]

>> Shannon: So Liz was learning from these older musicians. Like the mighty flute player Kevin Henry here who is playing with Larry Nugent. Those mentors obviously shaped Liz’s sense of Irish music and culture. And musical peers like Jimmy Keane also made a big impression.

>> Liz:  This fellow with his accordion and his father, a great singer, and somehow we met. Around that time maybe I’m 15 and he’s 13. You know, it was easy enough to hop on a bus and go over to his house. He had one thing there that I didn’t have, he had a record player that went to 16. So he could slow everything down to half pace. And he could show what is happening here. He had things like Bobby Gardiner records and stuff like this, stuff I didn’t have at my house.

>> Shannon: Here’s Liz and Jimmy Keane playing at the 2015 Acadia Trad School concert. This is Jimmy’s tune April’s Fool (which he wrote after one of Liz’s epic pranks). 

[ Music: “April’s Fool,” from Acadia Trad School Concert
Composer: Jimmy Keane
Artists: Jimmy Keane, Liz Carroll, John Doyle, Matt Heaton  ]

>> Shannon: I remember learning this tune one night while I was trying to get my son to sleep— all the lullabies hadn’t worked so I was trying a different approach. 

The lullabies don’t always work, the upbeat tunes don’t always work. You really can’t count on your kid to go to sleep, or to stay asleep when you’re trying to eke out a little creative time.

And Liz and her husband, Charles, have two kids. If you’re questioning your output and activity as a musician, adding parenting duties to the mix isn’t a recipe for increased output.

You’ve had different chapters of how your career has run. How have you managed to do this while raising a family? 

>> Liz: Well, my world would have been, like,I had a husband that was working and, uh, so when I had my son Patrick I had just turned 30. I was very happy to be at home, no problem. My husband was working, and I’m in Chicago, this is a great town. But yeah, it’s a lot of work, which I found out. I had my son, Patrick, followed fairly quickly, 13 months later, by Allison. I wasn’t looking to go traveling but when I had Patrick I did record an album with Daithi Sproule. That was in 1988. Patrick was born in ‘87, and I was expecting Allison. But I recorded that album. So my head must have had been able to be in both places. I really wanted to do that album, in that it was the first one. It was going to be just really full of a lot of my tunes and so I was just kind of bursting with it; asked Daithi if he’d do it. He came to the house. I remember him swinging Patrick, playing with him, and we walked into a studio that was in Evanston. My dad came up from the southside and would take Patrick and played with him either in the studio or take him for a ride in the car; to calm him down, you know, to sleep in my car, whatever. He was great and we went and made that recording. I did that album with Daithi and we never went anywhere. Hahah!

[ Music: “The Western Reel/The Road To Recovery,” from Liz Carroll
Artist/Composer: Liz Carroll” ]

I had Allison, I always remember there was just one great night, maybe it was just a Sunday or whatever. It was coming to the evening and my husband looked at me and he says, “Liz, isn’t there a session somewhere that you’d like to go to?” And I went, ”Really, could you survive with both of them?” And he was like, “GO!” It was always great, Charles always said “Go!” He was a great husband. He would always go, “GO.” And I did. Then after going maybe a couple Sundays in a row, to the sessions at the Abbey, I just thought that maybe I could do it easier on a different night. So I approached John Lunney, the proprietor there, and I said, “Would you be interested in a session on a Wednesday night?”  He said he would. So I asked Jim DeWan and we started having a session there on Wednesday nights to go with the session on Sundays. I would head out of the house, the kids maybe an hour away from going to bed. So that worked out, too. I mean we realized we could survive and my parents could help if there was a gig to go to. And, yeah, I got in touch with Billy McCommiskey and Daithi Sproule and I was like, “Why don’t we do a concert?” And when we did a concert we were like, why don’t we do a CD? Ha, ha, ha. So again, we’re not going to go anywhere but we’re going to make a CD. And they were terrific and Billy had some children of his own and, uh, you know, we were all very understanding. And we liked each other and wanted to play and we got to do some nice little gigs here and there, not too far afield.

[ Music: “Pound the Floor,” from Production Music Made for Irish Music Stories
Artist/Composer: Matt Heaton ]

I have one tune, I do get asked about how it’s pronounced. I was reading dinosaur books to my son, Patrick. So I thought the Diplodocus was a great sounding name for a tune. I had just started on this jig, and I thought, maybe this was the Diplodocus. So then I kept going with that jig and I made a second part. But, again, let’s say he’s three and she’s one and a half and they’re going, “Play Mary Had a Little Lamb.” And I actually put that tune away. I knew it wasn’t done. There were two parts and I knew it wasn’t done and I couldn’t complete it. Every once in a while I would think about it. And we put that on the Trian album. 

>> Shannon: Here’s  Dip-lo-DOH-cus… or “dip-LOD-uh-cus” from Liz, Billy, and Daithi’s first Trian album.

[ Music: “The Diplodocus/The Gandy Dancer” from Trian
Composers: Liz Carroll (Diplodocus), Billy McComiskey (Gandy Dancer)
Artist: Trian ]

>> Liz: So she’s four years old, and then I could finish the tune. Ha, ha, ha. I knew it wasn’t done but really it took up my mind. Did that happen to you? Or does that happen to you, with Nigel?

>> Shannon: Oh, it does. Yeah, it’s a little frustrating to try to… I get to practice. I don’t really write much with him around.

>> Liz: We may have talked about this but there is a point when your kids get a little bit older, and I think they really start figuring out how to wrap you around their little fingers. And one of them is, and everybody will know this, you know, one of them is the mom who is on the phone. And next thing, there is something really dire going on. You’re like, you’re so excited to talk to an adult. And the adult on the other end is like, “Oh, I have to let you go.” You’re like, “No, no, let me go, there’s nothing pressing, really.” But they’re hearing all hell is breaking loose. But it’s really your child figuring you out and figuring out how to get your attention. So when I would pick up the fiddle they knew I was paying attention to the fiddle. They’d ask for a tune. I think they were asking for Mary Had a Little Lamb. So I’d play that, then they’d dance around or whatever. Then I’d play another. “Play this one.” And I’d play that one and I’d look at my fiddle and I’d go, all right, and I’d put it away. Because whatever moment or whatever I was thinking just can’t be in the house. Ha,ha, ha.

>> Shannon: For all the tunes that got away, Liz managed to pull together 185 original melodies for her book Collected—and there are others she’s written or found since. 

Maybe partly because her kids are no longer pulling on her and asking for Mary Had a Little Lamb.

>> Shannon:  I love a lot of your tunes, Liz. They’re great tunes. They’re fun to play.

>> Liz: High praise coming from a flute player.

>> Shannon: How’d you get into writing your own tunes?

>> Liz: I can really say that I probably always did. It was on my dad’s accordion. Sometime around the time that maybe I was finding and learning how to figure out how to use that bass. You’d start something and then accompany it right away. And, so, something like that. Yeah, but I liked that right away, I know that. Um, so I had whole notes first, um, learning how to read. And so when I’d want to remember what I just did I have whole little bunches of sheets of paper with whole notes. Shannon, it’s so sad, because I have no idea of how those tunes go now. There’s no timing, there’s no rests, there’s only whole notes. Ha, ha, ha! Was it a jig, was it a reel, was it a hornpipe? I don’t know. Ha, ha, ha!

[ Music: “Sock In The Hole/The Hole In The Sock,” from Liz Carroll
Artist/Composer: Liz Carroll ]

>> Shannon: Years ago we played some tunes and you asked me to play one of my own tunes. Which nobody used to do. Nobody used to ask. Right, this was not a cool thing. Now it’s cool. Now you can write tunes and it doesn’t mean you don’t love the tradition. I played you a tune and you said, “What do you call it?”  I don’t know, I don’t really have a name for it and you said, “That’s the fun part!” Ha, ha, ha! I don’t know if this is what did it, with hindsight. When I write tunes the name comes first.

>> Liz: Interesting. I’d be REALLY the opposite. So in this case, what happened? You didn’t have the name?

>> Shannon: No, I didn’t. It didn’t even occur to me that making up a tune that then it would be shared with anybody. Anyway, it was just kind of a natural extension of sitting down to figure out this new traditional tune which naturally, “Oh, well that’s kind of cool” and then you just start playing around with something and make a tune. But I hadn’t really given it much thought, until you asked me. I mean, it’s funny the little things that can turn. The fact that you made this off-hand remark about, “Oh,naming it is so fun!” That becomes my mandate.

Lots of Laughing

>> Liz: I think we people that do make up tunes might have more in common than we know, you know? I think we’re in nice company, by the way. When I look at the people who write a lot of tunes, maybe not the one tune or the two tunes. But the people who are kind of like that all the time, you know?

>> Shannon: The Charlie Lennons, the Josephine Keegans.

[ Music: “Triumph Theme,” from Production Music Made for Irish Music Stories
Artist/Composer: Matt Heaton ]

>> Liz: I know. Look at the names that we get to toss out when we say that. You know, I mean, this is really nice company. I don’t know, there’s a little bit like, “Well, you know, some of this might carry on.” I think it will. Even if it is obscure, even if nobody knew it in our lifetime somebody could dig through it twenty years from now, and put a new spin on it. They might change this note, and that was what really needed to happen that now it’s out there, you know? It’s great. 

>> Shannon: But putting together your book, Collected, tunes that you’ve written and sort of refound; a comprehensive collection.

>> Liz: I got a lot of encouragement from John Doyle when we were on tour one time and he was just like, “Why aren’t you doing this? Well, just do it! Get going!” So I always kind of appreciated that.

>> Shannon: Here’s The Rock Reel, from Liz’s 2002 album, Lake Effect, with John Doyle and company.

[ Music: “The Rock Reel, The Morning Dew, Reeling On The Box,” from Lake Effect
Composer: Liz Carroll
Artists: Liz Carroll, John Doyle ]

So, Liz is recording more these days and in addition to putting out the book, she is traveling more, too—to perform, and to teach at summer camps. In group lessons, Liz will often teach one of her newest tunes. This way it’s really about LEARNING (and not about finding a tune that nobody plays or already has ideas about).

>> Liz: I don’t want anybody sounding the same as me. And I don’t want them to feel like there’s a sound that they’re supposed to have. So when people are coming into one of these classes, I do like to start them off with a tune that maybe they haven’t even heard. And so I’ll say, “Here’s a tune of mine.” I know that no one knows it because it’s only been in my kitchen. Now, that’s not everybody’s favorite thing because for some people learning a tune is their bugaboo. It’s their tough thing to do but I’ll tell them, “Don’t worry about it because we’re seriously going to take a measure and play the heck out of it and talk about what we can do with it. So, I kind of take it from there. I kind of feel like the only way to think about this, especially if you’re considering yourself advanced (laughs) is that for you to improve in any way means you slowing something down and checking out what you’re doing. It’s what I do. I try to pass that along, but I’m sure, you know, a lot of times there’s twenty people in the room, it’s too slow for somebody, it’s too fast for somebody else. It can be tricky. But I kind of like a group, and there’s humor to a group, too. And that’s important. And there’s that chance to be trying something, yet somebody else is carrying on. It was Johnny McGreevey that said to me years ago, “Feel free to experiment when you’re with that group, because they’re going to keep the tune going.” 

>> Shannon: So the group thing, so what if you’re not a super social person? Any thoughts on the shy people, about hanging with the crowd?

[ Music: Heartstrings Theme reprise ]

>> Liz: It is funny because some people are shy, being in that group it gets them out of themselves. Some people want to improve. Some people have an agenda, they want to get some place. They actually want to play Irish music for a living. Some just want to open up their brain and not read classical music. Some people are very social and it’s become a fun thing for them to do. I think that I’ve always realized that people have different skills, people have different things that, you know, that I really appreciate. And I really do. Anybody that plays in a different way, the person that plays a million 

variations, the person that plays none, the person who plays one. You know, there are all different people in the world. And I could find myself appreciating all of it. Even if it’s absolutely horrendous, then whatever music they’re pulling out of whatever instrument, then the amusement factor is really huge. Ha, ha, ha. And, you know, even at the end of the day, even if the musicality is not there, they can be a doctor, they can be, they can have these life experiences they’re telling you about and you’re like, “Wow, and you want to be here, and you like this.” Yeah, I got all the time in the world for anybody like that. There’s little reminders constantly, like I was saying before, there’s a lot you can get from these chats with other people and I am just genuinely interested, I like that side of it.

>> Shannon: So Liz has made time for these chats, she’s made time for music, parenting, and teaching and making blueberry muffins. But is she doing enough?

[ Music:  “Air Tune,” from Roots of the Banjo Tree
Composer: Liz Carroll
Artist: We Banjo 3 ] 

>> Liz: I feel like I continue to learn. I don’t know, questioning am I doing enough?

>> Shannon: Living a creative life can be confusing and unsettling. Your output is your work. But also, how you play, how you collaborate—your style. It all defines you. It’s a crazy cocktail of skills, and expectations, and the company you keep, and the opportunities you manifest. It’s about relationships and timing, and TIME. 

It takes TIME to make stuff. It takes TIME to make mistakes and (hopefully) learn from them. It takes a lot of moments to build your community and to give what you can. It takes TIME.

>> Liz: There’s space for it to be, to have lots of hangs with people. And it’s so important to just take those moments and not miss it, just to have the hang with them. And it is still important for you to be alone with your thoughts and think about what you’re doing to this old tune. It’s all of it, uh; it’s all of it. It’s like you don’t want to miss a moment now. Ha, ha, ha. As time goes by! Yeah.

>> Shannon: My thanks to Liz for making time for me. And for reminding me to not miss the moments.

Thank YOU, dear listeners, for making time for this show, which was written and produced by me, Shannon Heaton. Thanks to Liz for the blueberries, the stories, and the music. My thanks to Matt Heaton for script editing and underscore. To Nigel, for naming this month’s donors. And thanks again to Scott Maurer, Mike Wilson, Billy Neal, and Brian Benscoter for underwriting this episode. 

Next month I’ll explore the phenomenon of the Irish Music Summer Camp. I hope you’ll tune in on Tuesday September 11th.

Thanks again for listening, everybody!

Easter Egg from the Beveridge family:

Henry: Dip-lo-DOH-cus

Sophie: dip-LOD-er-cus?

Tricia: dip-LOD-uh-cus!

Server: Di-PLODE-i-cus

Anna: Di-plaaaaaad-icus


Ryan: I think I’ll go with his: Di-PLODE-i-cus


Bonus Content

Related videos

Companion Chapters

Related essays

Cast of Characters

Episode guests in order of appearance

Chicago-based fiddle player and composer who has been named All-Ireland champ, Grammy nominee, National Heritage Fellow, and TG4 Cumadóir

Musician/singer from Brattleboro, Vermont who is both a practitioner of Irish traditional fiddle and a composer/inventor of neo-folk and multi-media performances

The Heaton List