Words by Dina Al-Ziab
Edward Burke makes me wish I were Irish. His playlists are an immaculate blend of bagpipes, dulcimers, and violins that resonate in your ears long after the songs have ended. He encourages his listeners to “embrace your heritage” and expose yourself to music of a different kind.
Since the summer or this year, Burke has been a D.J. on The Radiator. He runs his own show which he has named “Shillelagh Safari” —That means “Walking stick” for all of you who aren’t fluent in Irish Gaelic.
With a show name like that, it’s no wonder Burke’s playlist pretty much walks you through a whole new kind of musical adventure. His lists vary from old and new Celtic music to world, folk, bluegrass, reggae, jazz, and some elements of comedy. It’s a musical conglomeration of a vast variety of musicians from all over the world.
Being such a great personality on air and in person, Burke pursued Theater when he attended St. Michael’s College in Colchester. Theatre helped him to become more comfortable with an audience. In his sophomore year, he dove into training to be a D.J., working on WWPV 88.7 “The Mike” that broadcast from the college.
Since being interviewed by Jim Lockridge and Lee Anderson to be on The Radiator, Burke has really found a place that has welcomed him with a “warm reception.” He loves the crew and the creative space he has to freely project his diverse taste in music.
Burke has helped promote local bands like O’hanleigh, an Irish Celtic Group mixing traditional Celtic tunes with Irish-American originality. In fact, he is currently learning to play the dulcimer and would someday like to be in his own band.
Until then, he’s going to keep rocking Shillelagh Safari, which you can catch on Saturdays from 8pm-10pm. If you share a love for the rich sounds of Ireland, classic rock (Burke particularly likes Jethro Tull among other bands like B.B. King, Taj Mahal, and James Taylor) and music on the other side of the spectrum, tune in and call in.
Between hosting his radio show, being the Assistant Director of The Awareness Theater Company, as well as performing, Burke is looking to expand his horizons. He continues to play music that fits his show: Fun, energetic, rich in culture and life. Since moving to The Radiator, Burke has found he is having more fun than ever. “I’ve really enjoyed my experience on The Radiator so far,” Burke says. “My Radio show is the highlight of my week.”