I would imagine that more than a few people first encountered Celtic music through the public radio program Thistle and Shamrock, which has run on National Public Radio for over twenty years. That's certainly the way it was with me. Hosted for all that time by Fiona Ritchie, the show is an institution that takes listeners on a weekly tour of Celtic music, sometimes focusing on the newest music available, sometimes focusing on more classic material, sometimes highlighting the grand "old names" of Celtic music, sometimes leaning toward the newest crossover artists. With Ritchie's extensive knowledge of the music and the infectious enthusiasm and passion that fills each episode, it's the most natural thing in the world that she should write the Celtic Music entry in NPR's Curious Listener's Guide series.
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