By Alexis Rudderham
Cape Breton has always been a haven for traditional family bands. Bands such as the Rankins and the Barra MacNeils have helped to expose Cape Breton Celtic music to the rest of the world.
But little did we know that up in the small town of Peterborough, in Ontario, there was another family having their own ceilidh. Leahy have been blowing away the music charts since June and on October 13th, this family of nine was at the Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay with Winnie Chafe and Barachois for the Celtic Colours Festival.
Winnie Chafe was joined on stage with her daughter Pat, Kim Lantz and Barbara Stetter to form Legacy. Their very laid back, not so traditional music was enjoyed by all.
Barachois, a French family from P.E.I. got things going next. Before they got into the swing of things they had their father, Eddy Arsenault come out on stage to play a jig or two. A young man helped him walk out and I thought to myself, “He is so old!”. When he started to play the fiddle I thought the hooting and hollering would rip the roof off the Savoy. Sure he may have had a few years on him but holy, could he play a tune. At one point the woman next to me turned around to say, “Move over Ashley, there’s a new kid in town.” And then Eddy was helped off stage to make room for the whole family. They played their instruments well and could make anyone laugh.
And Leahy showed that Cape Breton isn’t the only place where a family band can make it in Celtic music with a performance that resulted in a standing ovation.
So far the Celtic Colours festival had been a success, with a sold out audience and a wonderful response to the artists that had performed.