Building on over three generations of Leahy musicianship, Doug Leahy, together with his wife Jennifer and their children, are keeping those traditions alive through music, song, and dance. Doug, as a member of “Leahy” and Jennifer, having played music throughout her life, both understand the joy and exhilaration only music can provide. It’ no wonder then that their children understand innately that music will be a huge part of their lives.
Even the smallest children feel the music pulsing through their veins. They are drawn to it. They are passionate about it.
We spoke with Doug about the family and music. Just to put things into perspective.
Where does the Next Generation gang fit into the family and the Original group?
Well I’m one of the members of the original group and of Leahy and our children, I guess the four oldest have had the opportunity to play on stage with myself and my brothers and sisters when Leahy was still touring and so we’ve been asked a lot of questions over the years about when are the kids going to do their own thing and that time has arrived and it’s been quite a great experience.
So was there ever a time that you thought maybe the kids wouldn’t be involved in music.
Absolutely, you know, we never planned to play publicly like this. We certainly wanted music to be part of their lives. But very early you start to recognize their ability and how much they love it. We had some kids in the house here that would rather play music than almost do anything. They have a hard time passing by an instrument in the house without playing it. And it just brings so much joy to them when they get to play and then the other part of that is when they get to perform on stage. That’s also a reward to them where they get to go and share it. But see other communities and meet people and get that response from the crowd that really gets them energized and makes them love it.
How many generations does music go back in the family?
Well when you go back on both my parents’ sides, that’s what they did – they played music, not necessarily professionally, but it was in their blood. It was part of immigrants lives years ago. They brought a lot of stuff with them. And both my dad’s family came from Ireland and my mom’s family is from Scotland. She’s actually from Cape Breton and music was part of their lives and it is part of our lives. It’s in our blood and we’re thankful for it now.
Catch Next Generation Leahy on tour in the 519 at The Urban Field House in Belle River on Dec. 6 and 7, London Music Hall on Dec. 12 and the Sanderson Centre in Brantford on Dec. 16.