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'From the Backwoods to the Motorway' A History of Traditional Irish Music

Traditional music is central to Irish culture and identity in the 21st century. Contrary to what we might think, this is a relatively recent development. As late as the 1960s Trad was perceived as unfashionable and musicians were not allowed to play in pubs. 

60 years later it has become extremely popular and recognised the world over. So what happen?

Last weekend I sat down with Tom Mulligan, a legend in Trad scene to talk about the history of Trad over the century. Tom hales from a well known musical family and owns the Cobblestone, the best known traditional music pub in the country. Indeed it was become something of a cultural institution over the last 35 years. 

In this interview Tom explains the roots of modern trad from Poland, Africa, the USA and back to Ireland. He also elaborates on the intriguing story of how trad went from a marginal genre in Irish society to its contemporary popularity.

“From the creator of the Irish History Podcast comes the story of Modern Ireland and its people written in death” 

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