Rich Howells

NEPA SCENE PODCAST: Keeping Irish music alive in Scranton with folk singer/songwriter Mickey Spain

NEPA SCENE PODCAST: Keeping Irish music alive in Scranton with folk singer/songwriter Mickey Spain
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Recorded and produced every week by Internet marketing company Coal Creative in their production studio in downtown Wilkes-Barre, the award-winning NEPA Scene Podcast presents honest, uncensored interviews and in-depth discussions about local arts, entertainment, and the issues that matter to Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The live, multi-camera show streams in high definition on NEPA Scene’s Facebook page on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. and is hosted by Rich Howells, editor and founder of NEPA Scene; Brittany Boote, owner of Boote Photography Studio in Forty Fort; and Johnny Popko, host of Alt-Natives on Scranton radio station Alt 92.1 and senior marketing consultant at Alt 92.1, Rock 107, and ESPN Radio. Viewers are encouraged to tune in during each hour-long episode and interact during the Facebook Live stream so that the hosts can address comments and answer questions as they come in.

After the live webcast, the show is available the following Friday as an audio podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Stitcher, while the video version can be seen on Facebook and YouTube.

The NEPA Scene Podcast is made possible by local sponsors Beer Boys, The V-Spot, Coal Creative, and viewers who tune in every week.

In Episode 49, we sit down with Mickey Spain, an Irish folk singer/songwriter of Makem & Spain fame currently living and performing in Scranton, and his wife, Erin. He opens and closes the podcast with a few songs (and even throws a children’s song in the middle) before his upcoming shows at the Tomato Bar & Bistro in Pittston on March 3, Kilcoyne’s Bar in Scranton on the first Saturday of every month, The Keys in Scranton on March 16, McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub and Whiskey Bar in Bethlehem on March 17, and the first-ever Steamtown String Fling at the Scranton Cultural Center with The Dishonest Fiddlers, Brother Roy, MiZ, and Christopher Kearney on March 23.

Before and during the interview, we drink Beer Boys crowlers of Harvest Ale, Rubaeus Raspberry Ale, and Mosaic Promise Ale by Founders Brewing Company, a favorite of ours that always delivers solid brews.

We talk about Mickey growing up in Manchester, New Hampshire; how his father, being surrounded by folk music, and an injury got him to pick up a guitar; performing with his brother and forming Makem & Spain; how he met his wife and why he moved to Pennsylvania; recording with folk heroes like Tom Paxton, Roger McGuinn from The Byrds, Jonathan Edwards, Gordon Bok, David Mallett, and Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary; whether or not you should meet your heroes; his relationship with his younger brother Liam; his inspiration and songwriting process; creating songs for kids and an interactive program for elementary schools; memorable people and places from touring the world; his initial reaction to the madness of Parade Day in Scranton and if the focus on drinking plays into Irish stereotypes and takes away from the celebration of the culture and heritage of Ireland; Erin’s work with the Parade Day committee and their attempt to clean it up over the years; Kilcoyne’s bringing Irish music back to the area after the closure of The Banshee with monthly shows; house shows and the general accessibility of his music; joining the stellar Steamtown String Fling lineup; his first open mic experience at NEPA Scene Rising Talent and how much he enjoyed meeting comedians and fellow musicians; and more.

We also answer some questions and react to comments from live viewers, discussing Mickey’s musical influences, his beard, and forthcoming gigs.

Watch the live video version on YouTube:

Listen to the audio version on iTunes.

Listen on SoundCloud:

Listen on Stitcher.

Watch “Nancy Spain” on YouTube:

Stream/download on SoundCloud:

Watch “The Ballad of Roddy McCorley” on YouTube:

Stream/download on SoundCloud:

Watch “I Wish I Was a Fish” on YouTube:

Stream/download on SoundCloud:

Watch the original Facebook Live stream:

The views and opinions expressed during this podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the hosts, NEPA Scene, Coal Creative, or our sponsors.