In a musical context, the word "trad" is shorthand for "traditional," often used to describe ethnic folk music that's been vigorously preserved and passed down over many generations. Sadly, for a large segment of the music-listening population, the idea of "traditional music" is shorthand for an infinitely more sinister adjective—"boring." There's an underlying assumption that anything several hundred years old has long since reached its expiration date and should rightfully be tossed aside to make way for the next model, the newest installment (a feeling that's all too relatable for Apple fans such as myself). Well, I'm here to make a case for Irish trad by running down a few of my favorite bands in the genre. Irish music is a living, breathing organism. Even while it's existed for so many years, every new artist to touch it, leaves a few fingerprints behind. This isn't a list of the greatest Irish bands of all time. It's simply my list, which means it's as personal as the tradition itself.
Clean out your ears, set aside all thoughts of leprechaun-costume-wearing midgets and Bud Light spiked with green food coloring, and let's dive right in.