Irish teens twist traditional music at this year’s An Ri Ra Fest - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Irish teens twist traditional music at this year’s An Ri Ra Festival

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They’re young, they’re hip, they’re traditional - well, maybe not that traditional

“It’s a bit funky,” said the 19-year-old lead singer Amy O’Reilly.

Mad 4 Trad is an Irish quintet of young musicians ages 15 through 19 who are making their debut at this year’s An Ri Ra festival in Butte.

Though they’re young, they’ve been playing music since they were very young.

“We play traditional Irish music, but we do a bit of our own modern twist on it, so it’s more modern traditional music, it’s not ‘trad’ trad,” O’Reilly said.

Fifteen-year-old guitarist Jake O’Reilly said, “You put your own twist to it, you can do an intro and you can do off beats and stops and that kind of thing to make it more kind of modern or funky if you know what I mean.”

The group met while playing Irish music competitions.

For some of the band members, who come from County Cavan, Ireland, this is their first time in America and they’re excited to play for before a festival crowd.

“Playing on the stage in front of a big crowd, I’ve never really played in front of such a big crowd that’s expected to hear us here,” said 18-year-old banjo player Shane Bradly. “It’s definitely an experience of a lifetime, it’s a great opportunity to get and I’m very grateful that I can be here,”

Mad 4 Trad opened the festival Friday afternoon and will play again Saturday at 3:20 p.m. on the main stage at the Original Mine Yard in Butte.

The festival is free to the public.

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