Síle Shigley named host of WPR’s ‘Simply Folk’

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Síle Shigley has been named the permanent host of Wisconsin Public Radio’s long-running Sunday night folk music show “Simply Folk.” Shigley performed in the Celtic a cappella vocal quartet Navan for more than 15 years, playing across the United States, and she’s steeped in the musical traditions of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, and the Isle of Man. She has worked at WPR since 2000, supporting “Simply Folk” as its librarian. She has been fill-in host on the show since 2013.

Some of the artists she’s excited for listeners to hear include the Avett Brothers, Cahalen MorrisoShigley venerates the show’s history, and plans to continue playing music with deep roots in traditional folk, while also showcasing new folk recordings.

“One of the wonderful things about this genre is that it doesn’t have to be limited by industry standards,” said Shigley. “On ‘Simply Folk’ we might play a nine minute ballad, to spoken word, to something recorded on a back porch out in the country somewhere. Folk music is so much more expansive than a three minute song. You need that long to tell a story sometimes.”

“If you listen to ‘Simply Folk,’ you know the warm, welcoming voice Síle brings to the show, plus her deep knowledge of the music,” said Peter Bryant, WPR’s Director of News & Music. “We’re delighted that Síle has stepped up to the regular weekly host role. Our ‘Simply Folk’ audience is a loyal community, and so many people already know and love Síle’s sensitive music selections.”

Shigley began her new permanent host role on July 11. Listeners will continue to hear Jeff Durkee as the fill-in host.

WPR’s “Simply Folk” debuted in 1979, to play folk music from around the world and to celebrate music made and played in Wisconsin. The show’s live recording archives include folk legends Pete Seeger, Malvina Reynolds, Elizabeth Cotton and many more, as well as contemporary favorites such as Greg Brown, Billy Bragg and Dar Williams. The show is heard statewide Sunday nights from 5 to 8 p.m. on WPR’s News & Music stations and The Ideas Network.