There are lots of unique acts at Irish Fest this year, but if you just happened upon the music of the five piece band, The Modern Grass, you probably wouldn't have thought you were at Irish music festival.
The group looks back on the bluegrass and folk tradition of Appalachia and brings it forward with the influences of modern Nova Scotia.
The group formed two years ago, has toured practically nonstop, and already has five albums and a slew of awards under its belt. And now they're playing Milwaukee's Irish Fest with shows both Saturday and Sunday.
The Novia Scotian band is made up of Adam Pine, Dan McCormick, Donald McClennan, Tom Terrell, and Andrew Sneddon, five guys who like to play acoustic, old-time music. Steel guitarist Sneddon speaks for the group in saying they like to just get together and jam out in this style of acoustic music, especially when they know the repertoire.
They play with in a style close to New Grass, the bluegrass revival from the 1960s and 1970s. The musicians take pride in not needing to stick a certain form or genre.
Their group actually started in 2011 because they needed a Christmas present to give to their families. Guitarist Tom Terrell says their Christmas CDs are purely instrumental because they like to focus on the melodies. Now, with a busy touring and recording schedule, they joke that they can't make a Christmas album every year.
Modern Grass is performing at this year’s Milwaukee Irish Fest. They have a new CD out, High on the Mountain. They live in Nova Scotia.