A phantasmagoria on the life of poet Francis Ledwidge, Walking the Road is a memorable and emotional play by Dermot Bolger, author of Martha’s Streets. Having gown up in Ledwidge’s home county of Meath, Ireland and having visited his workplace Dunsany Castle daily for years with my milkman father, I have always felt a strong connection to the Irish poet. Bolger’s play reflects the harshness of life for the Irish working poor of a century ago, and the massive conflict felt by and about Irish Nationalists fighting in British army regiments. The scene in which Ledwidge’s fellow Irish soldiers announce their names and hometowns gave me chills and haunts me weeks after listening. You can hear it at RTE and another of Ledwidge’s greatest works at Librivox.
The producers of This American Life began a new podcast series last week. They call it Serial and it is the most exciting development in podcasting since its inception.
Podcasting is perhaps best known as a delivery system for traditional media. Other creators have used it for dramatic storytelling, the most popular result being Welcome to Night Vale. But the production values and the storytelling credentials of Ira Glass, Sarah Koenig and others at This American Life, and the fact they are unearthing evidence related to a true crime, elevate this series above all others in my opinion. Serial reminds me of 1996, eagerly awaiting each installment of Stephen King’s The Green Mile (originally released in 6 monthly volumes).
While being reminiscent of Old Time Radio from the first half of the 20th Century, Serial feels like the birth of a new art form. Subscribe now for weekly installments. Ira Glass and “Irish friend” Mary Ahearn will now explain how to listen to a podcast:
John “Chip” Colcord, longtime host of the Out of the Woods radio show, has started a new Bluegrass show. Featuring an hour each week of the best in Bluegrass music, Music for the Mountain Bluegrass is airing in several markets and is available for download from Archive.org.