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–


12/22  WINTER SEASON SHOW — Happy Christmas!


1/5  CELTIC TRIBUTE TO LEONARD COHEN– Along with our customary traditional folk, this week we also feature several sets of Celtic artists covering a number of amazing Leonard Cohen songs as we pay our respects to the recently departed Canadian poet & songwriter.

1/12  VAN THE MAN:  VAN MORRISON— WE CLAIM HIM AS A CELTIC ARTIST! Van is on tour, and since Music of the Isles states our radio program’s subtitle is “Celtic Music & More”, we will for the moment concentrate on the “More” and mark Van Morrison’s three sellout dates in Tampa Bay this week with a Celtic retrospect of his career, especially his projects with the Irish bands The Chieftains and Moving Hearts. George Ivan Morrison– or The Belfast Cowboy, as Robbie Robertson refers to him in The Last Waltz— famously plays Rock and R&B, but much influenced by Celtic Culture, an inner landscape springing from Celtic lore and the poetry of Yeats and flavored by the outer landscape of the moors and glens of the Isles. For those who were unfortunate to obtain tickets to Van’s tour stop, come hear our Celtic musical tour of the recordings of this Belfast born member of the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.


1/26  CANADIANS COVERING CANADIANS!  (No, not a Health Insurance Model.) Music of the Isles’ annual Canada Show– a yearly theme show dedicated to Tampa Bay’s many Canadian full time and seasonal residents– will this year showcase performances by some of our neighbors’ most esteemed, native Singer-Songwriters (Stan Rogers, Bruce Cockburn, Leonard Cohen, Lennie Gallant, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Robbie Robertson, David Francey, Gordon Lightfoot) along with highlighting notable covers of their songs from their compatriot Celtic artists and contemporary singers– The Barra MacNeils, The Ennis Sisters, The Rankins, Diana Krall, The Duhks, Great Big Sea, Sarah McLachlan, Ian & Sylvia, The Cowboy Junkies, and more.

2/9  THE SONGWRITING OF RICHARD THOMPSON. This week’s show will celebrate the songs of the folkrock icon Richard Thompson, former member of (and great guitarist for) Fairport Convention. On the occasion of his Tampa Bay tour date this week, Music of the Isles will play Celtic artists covering many of the great songs that Richard has contributed to the Celtic genre. Come listen to a full show’s worth of song treasures– the tradition based and the idiosyncratic!

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.)




Every First Sunday (5pm)– Four Green Fields, 205 Platt St., Tampa

Every Third Sunday (5pm)– Molly Malone’s, 305 E. Davis Island Blvd., Tampa


Every First Friday (7:30pm)– Pinellas Park Auditorium, 7690 59th St., Pinellas Park

Every Second Saturday (7:30pm)– Pinellas Park Auditorium, 7690 59th St., Pinellas Park

Every Fourth Sunday (3:30pm)– Gulfport, 5500 Shore Blvd. S., Gulfport


Lakeside Music Room Winterhaven (863) 293-1510

1/12  Men Of Worth, duo from Ireland & Scotland.


2/2  Cherish The Ladies– 7:30pm, Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center

2/9  Gaelic Storm– 7:30pm, The Capitol Theatre, Clearwater

2/14  Richard Thompson– 7:30pm, The Capitol Theatre, Clearwater


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

Since growing up in Cleveland (the Home of Rock and Roll) Bill Dudley has spent a lifetime in radio, beginning in his high school years, which coincided with the Great American Folk Scare. After starting out part time at a tiny little FM station in New Jersey, he became active in campus radio in upstate New York before moving to Florida in the 1960s. After working at a number of stations in the Tampa Bay Area, he was fired from his last commercial job (a country music station) just a few months after WMNF went on the air, which could be seen as some kind of omen. Started in late 1979 by station staffer Cameron Hendrix, the Music of the Isles Show was given to Bill in early 1980, along with a daytime Big Band and Swing program (later supplanted by the Live Music Showcase in 1996.) Along the way Bill founded the first Irish traditional band in Florida, the Wind That Shakes the Barley. Since the eighties he has made a living recording acoustic music albums for folks in Florida and other states, as well as producing radio documentaries for the Florida Humanities Council, and, more recently, promotional and documentary video. Bill also plays guitar in several Contra Dance bands, of which three have toured as far north as New England. An outdoorsy guy, Bill has a love of history, the old ways and traditions, and "hippie values." You can check out some of his work on the web at

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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