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Leahy performing in 2005
Leahy performing in 2005
Background information
OriginLakefield, Ontario, Canada
Years active1980s–present
LabelsVirgin Records
MembersDonnell Leahy
Erin Leahy
Angus Leahy
Maria Leahy
Siobheann Donohue
Doug Leahy
Agnes Enright
Frank Leahy
Past membersDenise Leahy
Chrissie Leahy
Julie Leahy

Leahy is a Canadian folk music group. The eight band members, all from the Leahy family of 11 siblings, are from Lakefield, Ontario and have been touring Canada and internationally since the early 1980s, when they were known as The Leahy Family. In 1985, they were the subject of a short film entitled Leahy: Music Most of All which received an Academy Award in the category of "Best Foreign Student Film."[1] The members of Leahy take significant pride in their Irish roots and Canadian upbringing.[2]

The line-up of the group varies depending upon the availability of its members, who are present or absent due to marriage, childrearing and other obligations. During the 1980s and early 1990s, the band recorded a number of privately released LPs and cassettes (most of which used the same title, The Leahy Family) which were sold at their concerts and they were frequent guests at the Big Valley Jamboree concerts in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

In 1997, the band resumed recording with their "relaunch" album, Leahy which also introduced the group's new branding. Leahy was an instrumental album, but the band also includes vocal performances in their live performances and subsequent albums have included both vocals and instrumentals.

Despite their established history, they were awarded two Juno awards in 1998, for Best New Group[3] and Best Instrumental Artist.[4] The following year, Leahy took a third Juno Award, for Best Country Group or Duo. Also in 1998, Leahy were added as the opening act for Canadian country singer Shania Twain's 1998 Come on Over Tour and were featured in two television specials from the tour, Live and The Specials, performing with Twain on the song "Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)".[5]

The group's members are both instrumentalists and dancers, with several members skilled in fiddle-playing (most notably the band's most famous member, Donnell). The female members of the band often perform step-dancing-style routines and do most of the singing.


Leahy in concert at the Fergus Scottish Festival in 2009

All members of the band are siblings. Each member has a main role to play in the band; although most play more than one instrument and all step dance. Donnell Leahy is married to Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster and Frank is married to champion step dancer Chanda Gibson.

In 2008, Donnell Leahy and Natalie MacMaster were awarded honorary doctorate degrees by Trent University.[6]

  • Donnell Leahy — Fiddle
  • Erin Leahy — Piano, Guitar, Fiddle, Mandolin, Vocals, Bass
  • Angus Leahy — Fiddle
  • Maria Leahy — Guitar, Banjo, Vocals
  • Siobheann Donohue (née Leahy) — Bass, Vocals, Fiddle
  • Doug Leahy — Fiddle
  • Denise Flack (née Leahy) — Vocals
  • Frank Leahy — Drums

These three sisters are not currently active in the band's touring schedule.

  • Agnes Enright (née Leahy) — Keyboards, Step dancer, Vocals
  • Chrissie Quigley (née Leahy) — Keyboards
  • Julie Leahy — Vocals



Year Album Chart Positions CRIA
CAN Country CAN
1996 Leahy 1 36 Platinum
2001 Lakefield
2004 In All Things
2006 Leahy Live
2007 Handmade
2021 Good Water

In addition, the group released several vinyl LPs and cassettes in the 1980s as The Leahy Family. These self-titled releases were privately pressed and usually sold at their concerts, although Christmas with the Leahy Family was carried by retailers such as A&B Sound.


Year Title Chart Positions Album
CAN Country CAN AC
1986 "You've Got the Fiddle (I've Got the Bow)" 52 On the Move
1997 "The Call to Dance" 26 31 Leahy
"B Minor"
2001 "Down That Road" Lakefield
2004 "Chasing Rain" In All Things
"Coyote Way"

Music videos[edit]

Year Video
1997 "The Call to Dance"
2001 "Down That Road"


  1. ^ "Student Film Award Winners -- By Year" (PDF). Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 29, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  2. ^ "Leahy: Staying True to the Tune". October 2006.
  3. ^ Larry LeBlanc (21 February 1998). "McLaughlin at top of Juno nominations". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 14–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  4. ^ "(Juno Awards Database Lookup)". Archived from the original on 2011-07-23.
  5. ^ The Specials (Winter Break / Come On Over) (DVD). Shania Twain. Nashville: Mercury. 2001. Back Cover. B00005RIIO.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  6. ^ "Honorary Degree Recipients". Trent University. Archived from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2010.

External links[edit]