Podcast #42: Gavinstock and Woody Sez

How it’s New York: Gavinstock is the second annual Gavin’s Irish Music Festival, consisting of some of the best Irish bands in New York. “Woody Sez” is a show about Woody Guthrie, playing at New York’s Irish Repertory Theatre.
How it’s Irish: Gavin’s Irish Country Inn— need we say more? but it’s in East Durham, New York, the Emerald Isle of New York, and the bands are all playing Irish music. Woody Guthrie was Scottish descent.


We talk to Bernadette Gavin,  of Gavin’s Irish Country Inn, about Gavinstock, as well as to Kevin McCarthy  of Shilelagh Law, one of the bands playing there. We then talk to David Lutken, performer and co-deviser of the phenomenal “Woody Sez” at Irish Repertory Theatre.


Featured Tune: “Together in the End,” about 9/11, by Shilelagh Law

Podcast #41: ‘Find Your Way Home’ and ‘The Journey’

How it’s New York: ‘Find Your Way Home’ plays Symphony Space on Tuesday, July 25. ‘The Journey’ had a New York premiere.
How it’s Irish: The musical ‘Find Your Way Home’ is about an Irish family in 1910. ‘The Journey’ fictionalizes in film an encounter between Ian Paisley and IRA leader Martin McGuinness in 2006, as they attempt to end the conflict in Northern Ireland.

We spoke to “Find Your Way Home” co-author Jimmy Kelly, and to “The Journey” director Nick Hamm.

Featured song: “Heaven Hear Me Now,” from “Find Your Way Home.”


Podcast #40: Catskills Irish Arts Week

How it’s New York: Catskills Irish Arts Week is in East Durham, New York.
How it’s Irish: The “Irish Catskills” were once vacation land to Irish Americans, a way to get out of the city. Historical, full of boarding houses and motels, the week in July of music classes, concerts, sessions, dances and more is a draw to everyone even a little interested in trad.

We spoke to CIAW Artistic Director Reidín O’Flynn, musicans Joanie Madden and Billy McComiskey, and CIAW founder, and flute master, Mike McHale, as well as an older student, Pat, who has learned keyboards in the Catskills.

This podcast is a special, perennial mini-doc.

Featured tunes: set dances from Billy’s 2014 CD, “Out of the Box.”


Podcast #39: T’he Emperor Jones’ and ‘Rebel in the Soul’

How it’s New York: Irish Rep is considered one of the best New York theatres. Eugene O’Neill did his time as a New Yorker, and Larry Kirwan, of Black 47, is a New York treasure.
How it’s Irish: Eugene O’Neill was of Irish descent. Both plays take place at Irish Rep, and “Rebel in the Soul” is a dramatization of a political moment in Irish history.

We spoke to  actor Obi Abili and director Ciarán O’Reilly about the haunting production of Eugene O’Neill’s “The Emperor Jones” at Irish Rep, and then with playwright/performer Larry Kirwan of Black 47 about his play “Rebel in the Soul,” also at Irish Rep.   Both plays run through May 21.

Featured tune is a song Larry wrote for the show, “Never Feel Like This Again.”

Podcast #38: Wils Wilson on ‘The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart;’ ‘Narcan’

How it’s New York: The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart was a big hit Off-Broadway. “Narcan” played at Irish Screen America and at the Manhattan Film Festival.   rssheadphones1
How it’s Irish and Scottish: Jim Halpin, of “Narcan,” is from Limerick (he played young Malachy in “Angela’s Ashes.”)
“The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart” is by Scottish playwright David Grieg, presented by The National Theatre of Scotland and the McKittrick Hotel (home of “Sleep No More.”)

We spoke to director Wils Wilson about the brilliant and unforgettable Scottish immersive drama “The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart,”a campfire pub play if there ever was one, with brilliance running through each line like water inside a snowflake. Alice Farrell spoke to Peter Halpin, star of the short film “Narcan,” which may turn into a feature film Stay tuned.

Featured tune is from Annie Grace’s “The Bell.” Annie was in the cast of  “Prudencia” when we attended. We think she has a voice to rival Dolores Keane and were sorely tempted to end with two of her songs.

Podcast #37: Ciarán Hinds on ‘The Crucible’

How it’s New York: The Crucible is on Broadway right now, through July 17.rssheadphones1
How it’s Irish: Ciarán Hinds, Jim Norton and Saoirse Ronan are all Irish (Ronan born in US, brought up Ireland).

We spoke to Ciarán Hinds about his role as Deputy Governor Danforth in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” running through July 17 on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theater on Broadway.   

Featured tune is The Gloaming’s “The Pilgrim’s Song.” The Gloaming are  Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Iarla Ó’Lionáird, Caoimhín Ó’Raghellaigh, and Thomas Bartlett aka Doveman.



Podcast #36: Lisa Dwan on Neasa in ‘Shining City’

How it’s New York: The show runs at the newly refurbished Irish Repertory Theatre, a gem of Off-Broadway Theatre in rssheadphones1NYC
How it’s Irish: Playwright Conor McPherson is Irish; the play takes place in Ireland, and two of the four actors are Irish– including Lisa Dwan, featured on this podcast.

We spoke to Lisa Dwan about her role as Neasa in Conor McPherson’s “Shining City,” running through July 3 at Irish Repertory Theatre, in Irish Rep’s first show back at its home on 22nd Street.   

Featured tune is Mick McAuley’s “The Constellation Slide Set,”  from his new CD “Highs & Bellows,” with Colm O Caoimh.  

Podcast #35: Gavin Quinn on ‘The Seagull and Other Birds’

How it’s New York: The show performs at Abrons Arts Center, and its satire and humor touches a New York rssheadphones1chord.
How it’s Irish: Pan Pan Theatre is an Irish company.

We spoke to Gavin Quinn about Pan Pan Theatre  and “The Seagull and Other Birds.”  

Featured song is Eileen Ivers’ “Walk On” from “Beyond the Bog Road,” vocals by Tim Shelton. 


Podcast #34: Belinda McKeon and Ronan O Snodaigh

How it’s (New Jersey) New York: Author Belinda McKeon lives in the city and teaches in New Jersey; Rónán Ó’Snodaigh of Kila recently rssheadphones1performed at the Irish Arts Center.
How it’s Irish: Belinda and Rónán are both Irish, and several of the authors in “A Kind of Compass” are Irish as well.

We spoke to Belinda McKeon about  “A Kind of Compass,” a short story collection with fiction by 17 writers, and to Rónán Ó Snodaigh of Kila about his solo work and direction. t 

Featured song Glen Hansard’s “No Mercy,” from Glen’s new CD “Didn’t He Ramble.”

Podcast #33: Conor Lovett and Mike Farragher

How it’s (New Jersey) New York: The production of “Waiting for Godot” is taking place at the NYU Skirball Center; Mike Farragher lives in New Jerseyrssheadphones1
How it’s (Scottish) Irish: Samuel Beckett was Irish, as are Judy Hegarty Lovett and Conor Lovett of Gare St. Lazare Theatre; Mike Farragher is Irish-American. Featured tune is from Iona Scottish Session, a Scottish session in Brooklyn.

We spoke to Conor Lovett about the Gare St. Lazare production of “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett at the NYU Skirball Center. For our money, Gare St. Lazare are the best interpreters of Beckett in the world. Alice Farrell spoke to Irish-American author Mike Farragher about his new book, “A Devilish Pint.” 

Tune of the week is “Mary Kelly’s,” from the Iona Session CD “Island Wild.” Iona Session are havig a CD release party at Jalopy in Brooklyn on Oct. 30. For more information, visit Ionascottishsession.com (more…)

Podcast #32: Ciaran Byrne on ‘Public Morals’

How it’s New York: Actor Ciaran Byrne lives in NYC, and has appeared in NYC’s Irish Repertory Theatre.rssheadphones
How it’s Irish: Byrne is from Newry, and the show ‘Public Morals’ is about Irish-American cops and gangsters.

We spoke to Ciaran Byrne about his life as an actor, and about “Public Morals,” which begins on Tuesday. Aug. 25, on TNT. The show, created by Ed Burns, stars Brian Dennehy, and is set in New York during the 1960s.

Ciaran Byrne

Ciaran Byrne

Featured tune is from Dylan Foley  and Dan Brown, from their new CD “Irish Music from the Hudson Valley,” which pays tribute to the Hudson Valley Scene where they both grew up. It’s a great CD– pick it up at Bandcamp!

Video after the jump… (more…)

Podcast #31: Dan Neely on Irish Week at the Augusta Heritage Center

How it’s New York: Many of the players and teachers are from the Tri-State arearssheadphones1
How it’s Irish: It’s Irish week at the Augusta Heritage Center!

We spoke to Dan Neely about Irish Week at the Augusta Heritage Center at Davis and Elkins College, a teaching week founded in 1982 by Mick Moloney in West Virginia.   Loads of great teachers on tap including Colin Farrell, Norah Rendell, Ivan Goff, Billy McComiskey, Shannon Dunne, and many more.

Tune of the week is from Colin Farrell from  his brand new CD. Can’t wait! (more…)

Podcast: actress/playwright Winsome Brown talks about mum

How it’s New York: Winsome Brown’s play is performed at La Mama ETC, one of the most important rssheadphonesOff-Broadway houses in New York City, and Brown lives here.
How it’s Irish: The play “This Is Mary Brown” is about Brown’s Irish mother, Mary Brown.

Playwright/actress Winsome Brown talked to me and to Books Editor Michelle Woods at Greenwich Village’s Cafe Reggio a few weeks ago about her new play, “This Is Mary Brown,” about her mum, which finishes a run at La Mama ETC on June 28.  More information can be found at http://lamama.org/this-is-mary-brown/. The featured tune is from Cape Breton fiddler, Gillian Head, from her new CD, “Spirit.” “Willie’s Mom in Donegal,” which has two from Jerry Holland, and one Irish jig: “Willie Joe’s Jig,” “Mom’s Jig,” and “The Donegal Lass.”

Podcast #29: Chef Kevin Dundon

How it’s New York: Kevin Dundon’s new show is airing on WLIW, presented by WNET. Also, in the New York area, we have easy access to the fresh foods Kevin says make all the difference.
How it’s Irish: Kevin is from Wexford, and he’s a fan and an expert on the best of Irish cooking. Food in Ireland is great these days… yet another reason to go!

Kevin Dundon is back for his second PBS series, “Kevin Dundon’s Back to Basics,” which begins airing on Friday, March 13. In the show, he will take the viewer from poaching an egg to mastering a soufflé and more. “Back to Basics” follows his first series, the acclaimed “Modern Irish Food,” and PBS is showing a marathon of them both on Saturday, March 14, and on Sunday, March 15. For recipes and more on Kevin, visit kevindundon.com. More information can be found at CreateTV.com. The featured tune is from Cape Breton fiddleer, Gillian Head, from her new CD, “Spirit.”

Kevin Dundon PR Photo 2015