I was going to start the piano, and they couldn’t get it up the front steps .. My mom said, ‘Grandpa plays the fiddle, and you could play with him. And you can take a fiddle with you, and you can’t take a piano with you.’ So I started. I tell you what. I had it the first day, and I loved it.

This month I talk to fiddle player and composer Liz Carroll about how she has weathered different creative chapters of her life. Her thoughts—about appreciating different styles and savoring all the little moments—are an antidote to the frazzled, the doubters, the unsure.
Download | iTunes | RSS

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.

Musician Liz Carroll with fresh blueberries. From Irish Music Stories PodcastWe sat around Liz’s kitchen table eating blueberries, and she told me about older players and peers who instilled in her a love of Irish music and community. She talked about raising kids and trying to compose tunes. She talked about the idea of instilling a sense of curiosity and ownership of music in her students.

Even if you don’t know Liz Carroll personally (yet)… or if you’ve never been to Chicago… or if you don’t play the fiddle… or you aren’t sure how to pronounce diplodocus*…. I think this chat about music and family and time will still feel like home.

I hope you’ll tune in to this chat about being creative, even when it SOUNDS like the world around you is banging and yelling and falling apart. 

And even though this video is 9 years old (and there are millions of other Liz Carroll performances you can find), I love that you can see and FEEL the “audience” enjoying Liz’s playing here. Everybody’s in on the gig. And that’s how it feels when Liz plays, even when she’s on a bigger stage:

Thanks for listening and reading. Next month Shannon airs a Cuppa Tea chat with fiddle legend (and Chicago Cubs fan) Liz Carroll.  I hope you’ll tune in on Tuesday August 14th!

And if you haven’t heard every episode, I hope you’ll listen to the gems you missed:
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
– Episode 10 – Cuppa Tea with Daithi Sproule
– Episode 11 – Return to Sligo
– Episode 12 – Season Two Preview
– Episode 13 – The C-Word
– Episode 14 – Dance Hall Days
– Episode 15 – Heartbeat of Irish Music
– Episode 16 – Pushing all the Right Buttons
– Episode 17 – Why Willie and Mary Matter
– Episode 18 – Wax Cylinders to the World Wide Web


Music Heard on IMS Episode 19
all music traditional, unless otherwise indicated

Tune: “Drying Out,” from Dear Old Erin’s Isle: Irish Traditional Music from America
Artist: Liz Carroll (fiddle)

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

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

Tune: “King of the Fairies,” from Cover the Buckle
Artist: Sean Clohessy (fiddle), Sean McComiskey (accordion), Kieran Jordan (feet)

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

Tune: “Monemohill Reel & The Brocca Reel,” from A Friend Indeed
Artist: Liz Carroll (fiddle), Marty Fahey (piano)

Tune: “The Lough Derg Cross (Air)” from Religion, Metalwork, And Ceramics
Artist: Liz Carroll and Friends

Tune: “After Hours Theme,” from Production Music Made for Irish Music Stories
Artist: Matt Heaton (guitar)

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

Tune: “April’s Fool,” from Acadia Trad School Concert
Artist: Jimmy Keane (accordion), Liz Carroll (fiddle), John Doyle (guitar), Matt Heaton (bouzouki)

Tune: “The Western Reel/The Road To Recovery,” from Liz Carroll
Artist: Liz Carroll (fiddle), Daithi Sproule (guitar)

Tune: “Pound the Floor,” from Production Music Made for Irish Music Stories
Artist: Matt Heaton (guitar)

Tune: “The Diplodocus//The Gandy Dancer/,” from Trian
Artist: Trian AKA Liz Carroll (fiddle), Billy McComiskey (accordion), Daithi Sproule (guitar)

Two Polkas: “Sock In The Hole/The Hole In The Sock,” from Liz Carroll
Artist: Liz Carroll (fiddle), Daithi Sproule (guitar)

Tune: “Triumph Theme,” from Production Music Made for Irish Music Stories
Artist: Matt Heaton (guitar)

Tune: “The Rock Reel, The Morning Dew, Reeling On The Box,” from Lake Effect
Artist: Liz Carroll (fiddle), John Doyle (guitar)

Tune: “Air Tune,” (composed by Liz Carroll), from Roots of the Banjo Tree
Artist: We Banjo 3

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thank you for listening. Thank you, Matt and Nigel for helping me make the show. Thank you, Beveridge family, for offering diplodocus pronunciations. And thank you to Scott Maurer, Michael Wilson, Billie Neal, and Brian Benscoter for underwriting this episode. Donations help me share this show with everybody.

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