There is nothing quite like Irish music to stir the blood and lift the soul. Slow airs to make you weep, jigs to make you happy, songs to make you sing and reels to make you dance like a dervish. It travels well, but still there's nothing quite like hearing Irish music in Ireland - particularly in the small pubs in remote areas where the locals habitually gravitate for those informal sessions that invariably develop into a serious social occasion universally known as the craic. For those who play it, it's not a style of music, but a way of life, producing its own culture and characters.
After 25 years visiting Ireland both as a music writer and a tourist, Colin Irwin goes in search of the craic. He talks to some of the leading Irish musicians like Christy Moore, Donal Lunny, Paddy Moloney, Martin Hayes, Andy Irvine, Cara Dillon, Paul Brady and Frankie Gavin about their experiences and they direct him to places where the craic is mightiest.
This is the story of his journey into Ireland's musical soul and the extraordinary characters he meets along the way. But Ireland, being Ireland, nothing ever goes quite according to plan . . .