~ VERY BEST THISTLE WISHES FOR 2015 ~
*Now available at many bookstores*
WAYFARING STRANGERS ~ The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia
by Fiona Ritchie & Doug Orr, with Foreword by Dolly Parton
*Includes 20 track CD*
Fiona's book, co-authored with Doug Orr who founded the Swannanoa Gathering, includes a 20 track Cd with music from Dolly Parton, Dougie MacLean, Cara Dillon, John Doyle, Pete Seeger, Sheila Kay Adams, Jean Ritchie, Doc Watson, David Holt, Anais Mitchell, Al Petteway, and Amy White. Check our Facebook page for regular Wayfaring Strangers book updates.
Fiona Ritchie has been awarded and MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, 2014!
ThistleRadio: a perfect soundtrack for Fall
Over 700 tracks are now streaming on our 24/7 channel. We hope you're finding ThistleRadio to be essential listening. As the channel grows, listen for new tracks in the mix, both from established architects of the genre and from the rising tide of talent, so visit often and let us know how you are using ThistleRadio! Listen now to ThistleRadio
Listen Again X 10!You asked for it and here it is: we have more than tripled the number of programs streaming via NPR Music. Listen again, and again, and again... Have a look.
Pete Seeger, 1919-2014
Thank you to Pete Seeger for a life of sharing songs and passions. His honesty and dedication are an inspiration to us all. Pete was generous in his support of Wayfaring Strangers, and his reflections are featured throughout the book, also on the CD. "The Wisdom of Pete Seeger" was one of our best received radio shows. The afternoon spent with Pete to record the interview is etched in memory: a wintry train journey up the eastern shore of the Hudson River to Duchess County near the town of Beacon, NY, took us towards the high ridge home of the late Pete and Toshi Seeger. "Homestead" may be a better way to describe the scene of their original house, a log cabin built by Pete on land he cleared in 1947, sitting adjacent to their later home. Newly chopped wood was piled by the door, a daily chore for Pete. The aroma of hot soup filled the air. This was the setting for one of the my most enjoyable radio interviews. I travelled there with Doug and Darcy Orr, with whom I'm working on the book Wayfaring Strangers, and we shared lunch with the Seegers before settling in for a chat with Pete. Anecdotes, insights, and music flowed around the kitchen table. You can still share in these great memories by reading a full transcript of the interview. Click here (This show picked up two medals at the New York Festivals® Radio Program and Promotion Awards recognizing the World's Best Radio Programs™. The silver Medal was awarded in the category of Entertainment: Best Regularly Scheduled Music Program, and the show also won a bronze medal in the Information/Documentary: Culture & The Arts category.)
Just when you thought you probably didn't need yet another way to keep in touch: we have a Facebook community page. If you have a FB account you may find this is a a useful way of keeping up with what's on the radio shows and other bits an pieces. Just go to Facebook and look for (and 'like'!) Thistleradio.
What a goodly thing
If the children of the earth
Could dwell together
Share Jean's wonderful insights on songwriting and hear her perform with her son Jon Pickow from our grand reunion at the Swannanoa Gathering. (Click here for clips from our meeting)
Thistle on Minnesota Public Radio's new Web and HD service: Radio Heartland
An eclectic mix of Acoustic, Americana and Roots music throughout the day and Thistle three times a week: check out Radio Heartland the new 24-hour online service offering everything from the washboard to the fretboard! Fridays at 6pm, Saturdays at 10am and Sundays at noon are the treasured time slots. Click here for the full schedule.
TDS (Thistle Deprivation Syndrome)
Some listeners have been in touch to to say that the show is no longer available in some public radio coverage areas. We know! Margaret Kennedy of our North Carolina office is usually the first to become aware of any change like this as her e-mail, phone mail and snail mail boxes are suddenly inundated by concerned listeners all living in the same zip codes. For those of you who lament the show's absence all I can suggest is that you write and support your station to see if they'll bring it back. Do you know a local business who could underwrite the NPR fee for The Thistle & Shamrock? That may help. We have recently reappeared on a number of stations.
As with the music business and media in general, the landscape of radio has been changing at a staggering pace in recent years. Even public radio stations, though ever true to their core values, feel the pressure of market forces. This is why they sometimes streamline program schedules and one-hour programs like mine can suddenly disappear. But Thistle can be reinstated just as suddenly when there's enough interest. So don't give up!