Music of the Isles

Event Hours(1)

  • Saturday

    6:00 am - 7:00 am

    Bill Dudley + Sean Sexton

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MUSIC OF THE ISLES: on air Saturdays, 6:05am-7am, on 88.5 FM WMNF Tampa Community Radio

Also, streaming On Demand all week 24/7 at

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… Eclectic Celtic across the spectrum of the evolving genre, new releases & classics, tunes & ballads; history & culture, broadcasting since 1979 on WMNF Tampa Community Radio.

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Check it out: Music of the Isles Facebook video links are of artists being played on our current week’s program. Thanks for following us, Facebook friends. Keep sharing those posts!

To Support WMNF & Music of the Isles, use the TIP JAR above! Each bit helps the station and is considered a VOTE for keeping Music of the Isles on the program schedule. (It’s also feedback letting the show’s hosts know you enjoyed a particular weekly edition.) There’s always the option to MAKE A PLEDGE by calling WMNF at 813-238-8001 or use the station’s webpage:

FRIENDS of MUSIC OF THE ISLES: WMNF is a tax deductible, registered 501 (c) 3 organization.

Support not-for-profit, commercial-free WMNF by becoming a Monthly Sustaining Member; designate your donation to Music of the Isles by joining the “Celtic” CIRCLE OF FRIENDS 

THANK YOU GIFTS are available for your support; call WMNF at 813-238-8001.  

VOLUNTEERISM: Contact the station if you’d like to support Community Radio in Tampa by becoming a WMNF Volunteer. There are varied ways to aid the station. Bill Dudley & Seán Sexton in their capacity as program hosts are WMNF Volunteers. (They receive no compensation in any manner.) Music of the Isles has had talented volunteers as production assistants. The show appreciates their contributions. If you wish to join the Music of the Isles team, call the station at 813-238-8001.

BOOKMARK this page – – Don’t miss out on each week’s new show of traditional & contemporary folk! Send a link to a friend. Introduce a music lover to the best of eclectic Celtic!

Explore what we’ve played. Playlists indicate song & album title, artist, release date, country of origin, band members, & songwriting credit.  PAST PLAYLISTS 

What’s Coming Up on MUSIC OF THE ISLES?

CALENDAR — Upcoming on Music of the Isles Spotlighting:

8/13.  This week in song we’ll be visiting Galicia, an autonomous community of Spain of Celtic heritage. We’ll then stretch out with a set of Celtic artists singing songs of the Spanish Civil War. From there we’ll explore neighboring folk music of the Iberian Peninsula. We’ll visit the Basque country, and Asturias, as well as Portugal.

8/20.  For our show this week, we’ll be exploring the depths of Celtic folklore concerning songs of Selkies, Mermaids, and Kelpies. Dive in with us. Some of the Celtic artists joining us for the swim are Kate Rusby, John Doyle, and Emily Smith, among others.

8/27. This week we’re playing the Name Game again. In this episode we’ll be tippin’ it up to Nancy. Listen along to songs of Lovely Nancy, the name we love best.

9/3.  For the Labor Day weekend our holiday show offers a full program of songs of the Labor Movement sung by female artists. We do so to stand in solidarity with all women in their struggle for equal pay. Hear the voices of Mary Black, Karan Casey, and the Unthanks, among others.

9/10.  Our show this week spotlights some members of the late 1970’s Irish band Midnight Well that– though short-lived as a group– produced some great songwriters & players who went onto make a significant mark in Celtic music. We’ll hear from members of the band, as well as notable Celtic artists covering their songs.

9/17.  Our program this week will be playing artist from the borderlands of Scotland & England. We include a set about the historic & notorious Border Reivers, cattle raiders of those once lawless regions.

9/24. This week is our Back to CELTIC Rock School Special– The Education of a CELTIC ROCKER– the melding of Celtic folk, Rock, & MTV Pop on campus and in clubs from 1984-1988.

10/1. For the turning of the autumn leaves, our playlist this week visits Cape Breton to salute the Celtic Colours International Festival, which has been bringing Celtic musicians from around the world to Nova Scotia for a celebration of traditional music each start of October since 1997.

10/8.  We’re fundraising this week. Support WMNF. Help keep Music of the Isles on the air. Keep Celtic music alive in greater Tampa Bay.

10/15.  Our program this week showcases the music of the groundbreaking band Solas. We’ll hear the band together, as well as solo work from a string of its talented alumni, which number John Doyle, Karan Casey, and Dónal Clancy to name but a few.

10/22.  This week we’ll be taking a musical trip to Italy. We’ll be playing some songs set in Italy, and we’ll also be spotlighting some stellar bands from Italy that play in the Celtic genre.

10/29.  We hope to charm you this week with our Halloween show of songs concerning witches. Be bewitched by artists Malinky, Harem Scarem, Strawbs, and more. Stay tuned and stay spellbound.

11/5. This week we salute the works of David Francey, Scottish-born, Canadian singer-songwriter. We’ll be playing a program full of covers of his gems from a number of Celtic artists, many also from Canada, such as The Barra MacNeils, Raylene Rankin, and The Dades, to name but a few.

11/12.  The Celtic music world this year lost a great ambassador of the genre. We’re speaking of the folklorist Mick Moloney, singer & multi-instrumentalist & scholar. We pay tribute to the solid man in our program this week.

11/19.  For those preparing your menu for the Thanksgiving feast, we make some musical suggestions in our program this week. Stay tuned for some tasty tunes and songs all about food from musical artists June Tabor, Tim Hart & Maddy Prior, Richard & Linda Thompson, and many others. We’re calling the program our Soup to Nuts Special.

11/26. For the Thanksgiving weekend, we’re playing all instrumental music to accompany any dining you still may have for your holiday feasting. All music played for this program special are compositions of Turlough O’Carolan (Ireland, 1670-1738), a blind, itinerant harper.

12/3. This week we’ll be showcasing a set of Ewan MacColl compositions championing the Travellers Community.

12/10.  In this week’s program, we’ll be plotting the evolution of Scottish folk tunes from traditional to contemporary- from early 1970’s to today. From Trad Folk to Folk Rock to Synth & Dance Club to Cletronica to Rock-n-Reel. Hear from Dick Gaughan, Capercaillie, Runrig, Peatbog Faeries, and others.

12/17.  For the coming of the Winter Solstice this week, we’re playing long songs to accompany the arrival of long winter nights. We’re spotlighting long ago recordings of Fairport Convention from the years 1969 & 1970.

12/24.  This week is our Christmas Special. Peace Be with You.

12/31. This New Year’s Eve brings us our BEST OF 2022 Special. So, here’s a toast to some of the stellar 2022 Celtic Trad & Folk releases from Scotland, Ireland, & England. Pop a cork of the bubbly and join us. It was a vintage year.

1/7/2023.  More of the BEST OF 2022!












Hosted By...

Bill Dudley  [email protected]

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

Seán Sexton  [email protected]

Seán Sexton, co-host Music of the Isles, 2000 to present, is a retired English teacher. He received his MA degree in the Creative Writing of Poetry while residing in Ireland. He holds both an Irish passport and a US passport.