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Monday, April 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 56.0° F  Fair


Who needs U2? A guide to Irish music in Madison: Casey and Greg

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Casey Day and Greg Matysik have been performing together in Madison as Casey and Greg for more than two decades. Getting its start as a kids-oriented group, the acoustic duo has broadened its repertoire and now plays a broad spectrum of traditional and contemporary folk songs, popular tunes, and Irish standards. The pair has cut eight albums, but really thrives in the live setting, performing for youth, seniors, and families in clubs, coffeehouses, and myriad other venues across Dane County.

Casey and Greg is playing at Quivey's Grove for St. Patrick's Day. The Daily Page queried the group about its plans for the holiday and all things Kelly green. Here's what the duo had to say.

What are your St. Patrick's Day plans?
We have a tradition of performing at Quivey's Grove, and we'll be there again this St. Patty's Day from 6-9 p.m.

How is the St. Patrick's Day crowd different from those at other shows?
They tend to be a little more rowdy that our normal crowds! Lots of passion for Irish music and lots of singing along, which we love!

What is your favorite St. Patrick's Day memory?
Casey has an amazing memory for songs, and one night, a gentleman rattled off around eight Irish songs that he wanted us to perform. Casey knew every one of them and it made for an electric evening.

Another memory: Casey had an opportunity to go visit Ireland with his family and was all set to perform Irish folk songs at the pubs. Instead, they all wanted to hear American songs!

Do you have any St. Patrick's Day traditions?
We always perform at least two to three gigs during the day for seniors or kids, come over to Greg's home for a corned beef dinner -- and Casey's homemade Irish Soda Bread -- and then we're off to Quivey's for our annual evening performance.

How did you get started in Irish music?
Casey grew up listening to his dad's Clancy Brothers albums and taught Greg a wide variety of traditional Irish folk songs throughout the years.

What do you think is the allure of bagpipers? Why are we so fascinated by kilts and plaid?
Mainly, it's the fascination of cultures that have a rich history. European traditions have been around for so long that there is a deep fascination and respect. And doesn't everyone look good in plaid on St. Patty's Day?

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