… to the official website of Sharon Leahy & Rick Good
Original Creations & Living Traditions
DANCE, MUSIC, THEATER & MORE
Represented here is our work as individuals, as a duo, and in ensembles like ShoeFly and Good & Young. Also included is content which can no longer be found on the former Rhythm in Shoes website at www.rhythminshoes.org.
Carry it on…
A Saturday night dance performance on the mainstage at the Wheatland Music Festival has been a highlight of many summers for us over the years. It generates excitement like nothing else can. The Wheatland Music Organization’s continuing commitment to traditional dance over the years is one of the things that makes it unique. Another is the Central Michigan community that has both supported and benefited from years of high-quality, traditional dance.
It is fitting that the centerpiece of this summer’s 40th Anniversary Celebration will be a Saturday night, main stage dance performance including some of the best professional dancers in the country, as well as performers from the greater Wheatland community. Having been commissioned to create this performance we, and a team of dedicated artists, are hard at work on what’s come to be known as the Carry it on… Project.
After months of planning and brainstorming, the community phase of Carry it on… shifted into high gear for three weeks of rehearsals throughout Lower Michigan. Joined by our talented colleague, the effervescent Nic Gareiss, we’ve been working with with dancers from fourteen to sixty-two in Remus, Alma, Mt. Pleasant, East Jordan, Ellsworth, Ann Arbor and Williamston, including the irrepressible Costabella Cloggers, many of whom are founding members of the Organization. The excitement of all the dancers, young and old, is both palpable and energizing.
Carry it on… will also include a handpicked team of professional artists who have performed at Wheatland through the years in groups like the Green Grass Cloggers, the Fiddle Puppets, Footnotes, Footworks and Rhythm in Shoes—dancers including Ira Bernstein, Christine Galante, Nic Gareiss, Matt Gordon, Becky Hill, Abby Ladin, Matt Olwell, Zane Terry and Emma Young. The bandstand will be equally endowed with talented artists including Cleek Schrey, Sam Bartlett, Ben Cooper and Wheatland’s own Tom T. Ball.
Forty years of people gathering to experience the traditional arts is what we are celebrating with Carry it on… but there is a factor in the Wheatland equation that most folks don’t have the opportunity to experience. The human need to gather requires a place to gather. So, after forty years of coming together at the Wernette Farm, outside of Remus, it is also fitting to honor the magic of the gathering place with which we’ve been blessed. Although thousands of people annually populate these woods and fields, few of us have seen the land in its natural state. Those of us who have know there is a power there that brings us all together just as surely as the music and dance does.
To this worthy end, Carry it on… will also include a Dance for Camera performance-art film to be created, performed and shot on site at the Wernette Farm. It will focus on the sacred power and potential of place and our relationship to it. Moving through, with and around the pine grove, the open fields and the old stage, dancers and musicians will explore humankind’s relationship to the environment and our universal need to gather.
Carry it on… is a multi-faceted and ambitious undertaking. It will be a year in the making and include the hard work of many talented artists. We are very proud and excited to be a part of it.
Follow the progress of Carry it on… at the official Facebook page for the Project.
Rick’s long-awaited collection of banjo music, representing over forty years of playing, is now available for order on our MERCHANDISE page. Rick Good – The Human Banjo Player is also available at CD Baby for credit card purchase and digital download. With seventeen tracks of traditional and original music played in both the clawhammer and finger-styles on several different kinds of banjos, lovers of the five-string banjo are in for a real sonic treat.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
GOOD & YOUNG AND SHOEFLY AT NATALIE’S
Both of our current bands performed at Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza & Live Music in Worthington, Ohio in the waning days of 2012. This popular new restaurant and music venue in the Greater Columbus area promises to be a great semi=regular gig for whatever we have going. The stage is well-situated, the sound is good, the beer is the best and the pizza is exceptional. With regular capacity crowds of enthusiastic music lovers, what could be better?
IN CAJUN COUNTRY
This past November, Good & Young enjoyed playing at two of Southwest Louisiana’s most popular musical venues: Cafe Des Amis, in Breaux Bridge and the Blue Moon, in Lafayette. Arguably the most culturally rich area of our country, good music and dance of all kinds is enjoyed by all with great enthusiasm.
Watch and hear video clips of Sharon’s and Rick’s work from the vast and varied repertoire of Rhythm in Shoes, now accessible and ever expanding on the LeahyGood YouTube channel, as well as this site’s VIDEO page.
Website banner photo by Nate Cooper