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The Thistle & Shamrock: Angels' Share

Jens Hausmann

Around 2% of distilled spirits is lost to evaporation as it ages, and this is called the angels' share. In this hour of music, host Fiona Ritchie hopes to feature around the same percentage of the songs and tunes written about whisky and other traditional beverages. Artists include Andy M. Stewart, Altan, and Robin Laing.

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Fiona Ritchie strolls along the main street of a small village in rural Scotland and steps through the plain doorway of an 18th century stone building. Passers-by would find it difficult to imagine what this simple gesture initiates: a weekly connection with devoted public radio listeners throughout the United States. In over two decades of broadcasts, Ritchie's radio program The Thistle & Shamrock has become one of NPR's most widely heard and best-loved music programs. She has entered the lives of millions of Americans by way of an inconspicuous studio door, thousands of miles away in Scotland.