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Matt & Shannon Heaton perform at the Ivy Chord Coffee House

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Every Irish traditional musician has a collection of peak session memories: the spontaneous night of tunes after hours in the back of a pub, the house party in rural Clare with that wonderfully ancient concertina player, the songs swapped backstage at a festival.

Matt and Shannon Heaton share many similar Irish music memories, because they have performed together from their first meeting in Chicago in 1991. Behind their Irish flute- and guitar-driven tunes and stirring songs is a deep well of mutual memories, setbacks, and triumphs.

When Matt and Shannon perform centuries-old songs, it feels current, conversational. They make traditional music relevant to American audiences. They bring to the stage a depth of shared experience and a love for Irish music; their stage banter is comfortable, often hilarious.

“Their playing is masterful and inventive, their arrangements city-smart and spacious.
Still, they never forget that Irish music is, at its heart, a neighborly form meant for sharing, not showing off."
Scott Alarik, Boston Globe

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