This post will have a conservative crescendo, but first let me tell you about an incredible concert I attended last weekend at Monmouth University.
An old friend called me with front row tickets to what he said were some Irish siblings from Canada who play the fiddle. I'm a hack guitarist so I dig strings (wind instruments make me snoozy).
The band is called Leahy. There are 12 siblings, and it's not just fiddles. The pianist is a show by herself. I've never seen fingers run over a 5 string bass like that. The drummer pops so hard they keep him in a cage and the guitarist is wonderful too (her dancing is best in the family). On any night you see Leahy, you could get any combination of the Leahy brothers and sisters. Or their spouses who are musicians. Or their 29 children. And it's not just music but tap dancing as well.
Leahy is one of those bands that can't be recreated with words. The sound and visual experience have no words, but let me try. The group is TIGHT. The lead solos in the songs by the fiddles are amazing. The speed is obvious, but the complexity! My goodness the complexity! During a song any one of them at times will put down their instrument and tap dance across the stage. We were treated last friday to one of the fiddler's young daughter tapping on stage with the band. The pride in her dad's eyes was as entertaining as the dancing.
At the encore, something fun happened. The siblings started trading instruments. Fiddlers became pianists. Pianists became bass players. Guitarists became fiddlers. And everyone danced. Talent talent talent.
If you love music, go see Leahy.
In the middle of the show, something that moved me happened. Erin the pianist was left on stage by herself. She began a song that isn't released yet, but will be on Leahy's next album.
The first words she sang I recall being "I'm calling all people to life." Before her next lyric a series of thoughts ran through my head: "This is going to be a pro-life song! Are there others? I'm sure there are, but I can't think of any."
The song was gorgeous. It is written from the predicament of the child, who is pleading to her mother to let her be born. The child makes a hearfelt and compelling case. I was emotional listening to it, rooting for the baby.
When this song is released I'll let everyone know of it. I hope you will help me let the world know of it.
In the meantime, enjoy Leahy jamming to Orange Blossom Special, a sort of fiddler's anthem you may have heard before covered by Charlie Daniels, Roy Clark or Johnny Cash.