Music of the Isles

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Thursday, 7pm – 9pm

MUSIC OF THE ISLES: WMNF HD2…or streaming all week long on

CELTIC MUSIC & More, ancient to modern, with co-hosts Bill Dudley & Seán Sexton.

The best of traditional folk & contemporary songwriting from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England. (Broadcasting for 37 years!)

Coming up on Music of the Isles


HALLOWEEN WEEK– a Celtic Holiday! Of course, the entire show will be a showcase of spooky songs and all things macabre, especially through the playing of murder ballads. But we also will be highlighting the Celtic origins of the holiday– Samhain, The Celtic New Year– noting its vestiges, like the Pooka, the Banshee, and the Jack O’ Lantern.

CELTIC WOMEN– “Cherishing the Ladies” (not just a title to a traditional tune): An all-female artists show! Though there’s a countless number of all-male Celtic bands— and we do especially appreciate seeing the many mixed-gender bands–, we wish to Spotlight what seems a relatively small number represented in the Celtic music scene:  the All-Women Full Band.  We’d like to Celebrate the all-women bands that, too, do it all and do it so well– bands that perform richly vocally while also excelling instrumentally.

DYLAN CELTIC COVERED– A full show welcoming Bob Dylan to town and celebrating his recent Nobel Prize for Literature: Uncovering the Traditional Folk and Celtic influences on Dylan’s music through a sampling of the many Celtic artists who cover his songs, while we also explore Dylan’s impact on the Celtic genre itself.

BOOKMARK this page – – Don’t miss out on each week’s new show of traditional & contemporary folk!

SEND A LINK FOR THIS SHOW TO A FRIEND Introduce someone to the best of Celtic Music!

Thank you for making Music of the Isles your tradition. We greatly appreciate listener support & input and always welcome feedback. Email us at the addresses below.

(To Support WMNF & Music of the Isles, consider the Tip Jar.)


MUSIC OF THE ISLES plays Trad tunes and Folk ballads, plus Celtic rock & reel, while highlighting Celtic music’s influences on & cross-pollination with Folk Rock, ProgRock, New Age, Celtronica, World Beat, Chip Shop Hip Hop, Americana, & Nu-folk:

Listen to Ewan MacColl, Tommy Makem, Christy Moore, The Bothy Band, Clannad, Fairport Convention, Silly Wizard, Steeleye Span, Jethro Tull, Strawbs, Afro Celt Sound System, Enya, Equation, Billy Bragg, Dougie MacLean, Solas, The Waterboys, Richard Thompson, Dervish, Lunasa, Sinéad O’Connor, Shane MacGowan, Sharon Shannon, Seth Lakeman, Shooglenifty, Baka Beyond, Kate Rusby, Oysterband, Glen Hansard, Damien Rice, Lisa Hannigan, Eliza Carthy, Jim Moray, Cara Dillon, Damien Dempsey …

Exquisite vocals, lively jigs & reels, rowdy choruses, workers’ struggles, haunting airs, touching tales.

Folksongs from England and the 7 Celtic lands. Learn through music the history & culture of the Celtic nations: Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Cornwall, Brittany, Galicia. Hear tradition alive & adapting in vibrant communities of the Celtic diaspora in America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Dig the folk roots & climb all the branches of the Celtic Music genre. Taste the fruit of Folksong! Make it your tradition to listen to Music of the Isles.

Hosted By...

Bill Dudley

Sean Sexton

Seán Sexton, co-host Music of the Isles (2000 to present)

Seán, born in NYC, holds dual U.S. & Irish passports. An educator for 30+ years, he has a keen interest in Balladry; its encapsulation of the human condition, its folk perspective, its timeless relevance. In his travels he's accumulated a vast library of traditional folk music from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England.

He became involved in Music of the Isles as a guest host in 2000, when-- returning from residing in Ireland where he was enrolled in studies culminating in a postgraduate degree in the Creative Writing of Poetry--, he was invited to WMNF to program a special for National Poetry Month. He chose the topic of Irish poetry set to music by Celtic folk artists. (Subsequently, a Poetry Special every April has become an institution on Music of the Isles.)

He was asked back the next week, & the week after, & after that Seán with his enthusiasm for Celtic Music has been a weekly fixture in the studio ever since. You'll find him every Thursday entertaining & educating-- programming interesting (sometimes quirky) theme sets & intriguing full specials, introducing the Tampa folk scene to new artists & directions in the genre, in doing so offering to new audiences, new generations, the touchstones connecting our musical past to its contemporary catalog. Mostly you can hear Seán, a Celtophile to the heart & honorable Irish American, sincerely share his love for Celtic culture, ancient to contemporary. He keeps the traditions alive. (Does his family proud.)

Your man’s mad for Trad. He’s great “craic,” and, best, he’s hold of a treasure of music to air:
Clancys to Pentangle, Planxty to Capercaillie, Pogues to Prodigals, Peatbog Faeries to Bellowhead, Imagined Village and beyond. Then back again. Music of the people by the people. Folk for, and of, folk concerns, not corporate fed fad. Folk people reflecting on the past, existing in the present, focused on the future. Folk for folk sake!

It can be said of Seán stepping through life that “he takes most delight in the slip jigs & reels.” But when away from studio work, and not found grading papers from his day job of keeping our youth skilled in critical thinking, you can catch him at the local pub throwing darts. Or, perhaps, see him at his 2nd great passion Tampa Bay Lightning hockey. Loyal to the team, he is a longtime, rabid season ticket member.

Up the Celts (and Go Bolts)!

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