They’re a musical family – eight brothers and sisters - who have shared their talents and love of music with audiences in their native Canada and around the world for many years. They’ve released four successful CD’s, won three Juno Awards (Canada’s equivalent to the Grammys), opened for Shania Twain on her first world tour, and also worked on one of her albums.
“She asked us to open for her on her world tour back in ’97,’98,” recalls fiddler and family member Doug Leahy. “ Afterward, she asked us to record on one of her albums in Europe so we went over there and recorded with her. It was a great time spent with her. We'll always remember that tour for sure.”
Although eight members of the Leahy family currently tour together, there are actually eleven brothers and sisters. All play music and all have performed with the group at one time or another. Their parents played in a band and they were introduced to music very early in life.
“That’s how we got our start. Our parents played music in a band and sometimes we would go with them,” explains Doug. “We all started off playing fiddle and/or piano as kids, and learning how to dance. After that, instruments were placed in the house and people would pick them up. So, in our show there’s a bass guitar, drums, piano, acoustic guitar, fiddles, dancing, banjo, and actually one of the kids plays the accordion in our Christmas show.”
While they tour year round, their Christmas shows are something special.
“Christmas is such an exciting, festive time,” notes Doug. “We often get asked, ‘What’s Christmas like at your house?’ Well, it’s always been full of a lot of kids and a lot of fun. So, we actually let a couple of the kids join us on stage for our Christmas show and we’re having a good time with that. ”
They work hard to strike a balance and offer something everyone can enjoy. If you go, you can expect Christmas, as well as traditional music, step-dancing, and “lots and lots of energy.”
“We have quite a wide audience from little kids to very elderly people and everything in between,” says Doug. “I really believe in family and especially at Christmastime to see those audiences and everyone getting some from it and enjoying it, putting smiles on those little kids faces, that really does it for me.”
His brothers and sisters would agree.
Their show is set for Thursday, Dec 13th at 7:30 at Indiana University Southeast’s Paul W. Ogle Cultural and Community Center. General admission tickets are $29.50. To buy tickets call the Ogle Center box office at (812) 941-2525 or order online at www.ius.edu/oglecenter.
Photo: Courtesy of Leahy