WELCOME

… to the official website of Sharon Leahy & Rick Good

Original Creations & Living Traditions
DANCE, MUSIC, THEATER & FILM

The creative team of Leahy & Good began making art in the mid-1980s and has proven through the course of the past thirty years to be prolific, eclectic, inspiring and entertaining.

Where There is Love
photo by David Sherman

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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING?

Print
photo by Andy Snow

We are delighted to announce that that Sharon’s first film, Carry it on… has been selected for screening at the 2014 San Francisco Dance Film Festival, November 6-9 at the Brava Theater Center in the Mission District.

Carry it on… was also an official selection at the 2014 International Screen Dance Festival on July 12th.

Presented in Durham, NC by the American Dance Festival (ADF), this honor came on the heels of the 2014 Dance on Camera Festival co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Dance Films Association.

That festival took place January 31st – February 4th at Lincoln Center in New York City and, according to several of the cast members from the film who were in attendance, it was very well received.

2014BlackLaurel

The Film Society of Lincoln Center has further included Carry it on… in their touring roster for the year and, just recently, it was included in the 13th Annual Dance on Camera Festival at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.

Now available on DVD!
See our MERCHANDISE Page for details.

See the trailer on our LeahyGood YouTube channel and, for more information, go to our CARRY IT ON FILM page.

Cover of DVD 7 2014
photo by Peggy Brisbane

We are also deep into post-production work for a Carry it on… Live! DVD. This dance extravaganza took place at the Wheatland Music Festival’s 40th Anniversary Celebration last September and featured over seventy performers, including the finest percussive dancers in the country. It will be available in time for the 41st annual festival this September. See below for more about the project.

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?

THE ELEMENTS
Elements
Sharon, Sandy, Michael and Rick – photo by David Sherman

Our latest musical endeavor has us teamed-up with our longtime friends, Michael & Sandy Bashaw. We have been playing music together in the privacy of our own homes for the better part of a year and it’s been, as we still say, a gas.

We’ve gotten back to the basics, calling ourselves The Elements, and we made our first public appearance at the Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC) in downtown Dayton on Friday, May 2nd.

The evening’s entertainment was part of Dayton’s regular First Friday events and included the final screening of Carry it On…, our eighteen minute, Dance for Camera film that had been showing at DVAC since April 22nd.

The photo at the top of this page comes from the music video of Where There is Love, one of Michael and Sandy’s many fine songs with their band Puzzle of Light. The video is part of the Playing for Change movement and was made in Dayton, by Dayton artists.

KNUCK ‘N’ FUTZ at the World Buskers Festival in New Zealand

Crazy Nate
Come back Mr. Knucklehead

Nate Cooper, the irrepressible funny-man, dancer and all around master of mischievous hi-jinx, returned in January to Christchurch, New Zealand for his third appearance at the annual World Buskers Festival. This time, with Sharon directing and Rick performing with Nate, the ten day Festival, which features street performers from around the world, showcased the New Vaudeville team of E. Meritus Futzbudget and Mr. Knucklehead, better known as, Knuck ‘n’ Futz.

See the next performance of Knuck ‘n’ Futz at Burlington Vermont’s Festival of Fools, August 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

See a video montage of Knuck ‘n’ Futz at the 21st Annual World Buskers Festival in Christchurch.

K&Ffinale
Bravo, Mr. Knucklehead, Bravo! (click to enlarge)

GOOD & YOUNG in Lafayette
The Acadiana Center for the Arts presented an evening of Cajun, country and oldtime music and dance from a pair of family bands, November 20-22, 2013.

FamilyBands ACA
L to R: Linzay Young, Emma Young, Sharon Leahy, Rick Good, Marc Savoy, Ann Savoy, Joel Savoy, Kelli Jones-Savoy, Wilson Savoy

The celebrated Savoy Family Band teamed-up with our own Good & Young family band for an eclectic and entertaining evening of American traditions. This versatile collection of moms, dads, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives took to stages in both Lake Charles and Lafayette, blending in duets, trios and quartets, contrasting and combining traditions and coming together in a full nine-piece orchestra of intoxicatingly jubilant music.

Good&Young
Good & Young: Rick, Linzay Emma & Sharon – photo by Tom Kreuger

Carry it on…
R&Sw:costas
Rick & Sharon, post-show with the Wheatland Illuminati

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 was fitting that the centerpiece of this summer’s 40th Anniversary Celebration, September 6, 7 & 8, was 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, brought forth what came to be known as the Carry it on… Project.

The project is being directed by renowned artist and dancer Sharon Leahy with original music composed by Rick Good from the Rhythm In Shoes company of Spring Valley, Ohio. Both are well known and prolific creators as dancers, musicians, actors, writers, educators and advocates of America’s musical roots… Wheatland Music has a long, fruitful and trusting relationship with the duo that dates back to 1977. Over the four decades, Wheatland has engaged Sharon on more than 15 occasions and Rick 22 times.
- from the Folk Alliance International Newsletter – Summer, 2013

Forty years of people gathering to experience living traditional arts is what we celebrated with Carry it on…, but most folks don’t get the opportunity to experience the pristine beauty of the Festival site sans campers. So, after forty years of coming together at the Wernette Farm, outside of Remus, it was also fitting that we honored 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.

IMG_0180
Wernette Farm Winterscape

To this worthy end, Carry it on… also included a Dance for Camera performance-art film created, performed and shot on site at the Wernette Farm. The premiere showing of the Carry it on… film opened up the Saturday night dance set, blending seamlessly into the live performance.

After the few first months of planning and brainstorming, the three major phases of the Carry it on… Project started running full speed ahead. These were the Professional Ensemble, the Community Dancers and the Dance for Camera.

_MG_7366c
Dancers in Costume, L to R: Emma, Chrissy, Zane, Nic, Becky, Matt, Abby, Matt

Carry it on… included 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 was equally endowed with talented artists including Cleek Schrey, Sam Bartlett, Ben Cooper and Wheatland’s own Tom T. Ball.

_MG_1018d
Cleek, Rick & Ira

All of these artists gathered at WMO central this spring for two weeks of making magic. We lived well and worked hard, morning and night, creating new work for the stage under the direction of Becky Hill, and making the film, under the direction of Sharon Leahy.

IMG_0084
Sharon directing Community Dancers

The Community phase of Carry it on… shifted into high gear last winter 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.

IMG_0512
Costabella Cloggers

Carry it on… was a multi-faceted and ambitious undertaking, a year and a half in the making. It was the result of hard work and dedication from many talented artists. We are very proud to have been a part of it.

Follow the progress of Carry it on… at the official Facebook page for the Project and read the feature article on pages 16 & 17 of this summer’s Folk Alliance International Newsletter.

LATEST CD RELEASE!

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.

Rick is a wonderful writer of songs and tunes… and boy, can he play the banjo! His love for the old sources shines throughout… there’s not a clunker in all 17 of the songs and tunes… he has put forth some very cool arrangements and ideas in this fine CD.
Alice Gerrard – Old Time Herald – Volume 13, Number 5

If you like banjo in any form, you will love this disc. It is a masterpiece performed by a master musician.
Dan Levenson = Banjo Newsletter Volume 40, Number 12

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.


photo by Andy Snow

Website banner photo by Nate Cooper