Gordon and Christy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
We, (Gordon and Christy McLeod), began playing music together in our first year as a couple in 1994. I was undergoing chemotherapy, and Gordon needed a guitar accompanist for his fiddle. He thought playing music would get my mind off feeling so bad. He was right!

Playing music together lifted us both up, added to the healing process and set us on a course of performing music in a band since 1995. As McLeod Nine Duo, (pronounced “Mc Cloud”) we have a love of music from all genres. Both of us are songwriters, and we also like to put our own spin on familiar cover songs.

In 2008, Gordon was named the winner of the Americana Festival Songwriting Contest in Nacogdoches, Texas, after being also awarded in 2006. McLeod Nine Duo performs and tours as a duo, featuring mostly original music in the Americana, Swing and Celtic traditions on fiddle, guitar, mandolins, percussion.

We have honed our harmonies, songs, and stories into a thoughtful and energetic musical experience. McLeod Nine Duo performances range from concerts, festivals, repeated concerts at the Dallas Museum of Art, corporate events, weddings, and house concerts. We have performed on the Irish radio, RTE while performing in Ireland.

We were part of an Irish music ensemble in France at Le Gran Bal Gennetines. The past three years, McLeod Nine Duo has toured through the West, and have been delighted with the warm responses we have received as well as the excellent opportunities to take in the beauty of the mountains.

McLeod Nine Duo has recorded two CD’s, as well as Gordon McLeod’s three solo CD’s, one of exclusively Irish fiddle music. Our duo is actively performing and booking tour dates for 2019. Whether a private house concert or a larger festival, McLeod Nine Duo loves to share our music with humor and connect with the audiences.

We like to mix in some fun, familiar cover songs as well, so our audience can be actively engaged and sing along. As a duo, our professional career started when we formed the Celtic-Americana band, Beyond The Pale, in Tyler, Texas, along with Patrick Thurmond.

Gordon has played music professionally most of his life in Country and Rock bands, but this was our first experience of being on stage together. Our line-up of Beyond the Pale changed in 2001, adding two DFW area musicians, Betsy Cummings, and John Delaney.

Beyond The Pale as a quartet is very active playing concerts and festivals, and has recorded six CDs. We also founded a string ensemble, The Aisling String Trio, with cellist Dirje Childs, and recorded and were active with that group for over ten years.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Our struggles have been much of what many folks experience in life. Starting out with me being newly diagnosed with breast cancer and playing music through treatment (I played our first gig with no hair). The death of family members, relocating from Tyler to Dallas, illness, changing jobs, broken bones… the stuff of life.

As far as musical struggles, we both feel very blessed by having each other to bounce ideas around, support each other, sometimes pushing each other to higher levels of creativity and performance. We have our own recording studio, which is a mixed blessing. Endless availability to create and also many opportunities to really push each other’s buttons. (We always make up!).

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
McLeod Nine Duo performs a VERY eclectic range of music on fiddle, mandolins, guitars, percussion, harmonica, penny whistle, clarinet, and vocal styles from sweet ballads to gutsy blues and harmonies. Our eclectic blend is probably the thing that sets us apart and makes our performances unexpected and interesting.

We can seamlessly go from an original Gypsy Swing song to rapid-fire Irish or Cajun fiddling, to a classic Folk-Rock cover to a thoughtful ballad on lilting mandolin. We can both rock out on guitars, move from Beatles to Bluegrass, throw in Americana mixes and end up a cappella. We never want our audiences to be bored or not be able to distinguish one song from the one before it.

We realize that the listening ear can only absorb a certain amount of new music, so we always try to mix in some familiar cover music so folks can toe-tap or sing along. One of our favorite things to do at parties or house concerts is getting the audience involved. We like to end with a medley of songs they can join in.

We also like to teach a few simple Celtic ceili-styles dances, done in lines or rings. This has always been a huge hit, whether at a house concert or a corporate event. Really makes for some fun memories for the guests and usually some memorable videos! Some of our musician friends from Ireland dubbed us, “Those happy people from Texas,” and we really are happiest meeting people and sharing music with them.

In addition to writing and performing music, Gordon also has been operating a recording studio in our home, both in East Texas and now in the Dallas area. He is an excellent producer, often lending his versatility as an instrumentalist to his client’s CD projects. He also leads fiddle workshops at festivals and music camps.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Always have faith in yourself and each other. Your dreams can come true. We love making people happy and sharing the gift of music. All of our lives we have wanted to be professional musicians and with persistence and hard work our music career has taken off.

We have also learned to make more time for writing, more time for performances and more time for touring and more time for creative reflection and new experiences! We quit our career paths as soon as we could, (Gordon is an engineer and Christy is a psychotherapist).

We now we know making music, meeting people and touching hearts with songs is worth its weight in gold!

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.McLeodNineMusic.com
  • Phone: 903-530-1342
  • Email: Christy@McleodNineMusic.com
  • Facebook: @McLeodNineMusic

Gordon McLeod (McLeod Nine): ‘Daddy G and His Amazing Swingtet’--By Chuck Bloom--Ceili editor

“Daddy G and His Amazing Swingtet,” introduces audiences to the other music of McLeod’s soul – a light, jazzy swing sound, aligned with such greats as guitarist Django Reinhardt, violinist Stephane Grapelli and vocalist Al Jarreau. And let’s not forget legendary influences like Tchaikovsky,Al Jolson and many others.

 “My music is the direct result of listening and emulating literally hundreds of other musicians who I am honored to have heard,” he said. “I play lots of jazz and swing music with a gypsy tinge, both originals and standards on violin and guitar, lots of traditional Irish fiddle music and my own originals in more contemporary styles.”

 The entire album is filled with excellent tracks that make you gently tap your toes and toss your head from side-to-side. Some melodies should be familiar (de Abreu’s “Tico Tico” or Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetique”) and some will become favorites.

 The CD begins with “The CatfishNightmare Blues,” a song McLeod incorporatedinto Beyond The Pale’s stage sets at the recent North Texas Irish Festival. Whimsically inspired by his grandson’s telling of a nightmare involving one such pond dweller, it will become the disc’s most recognizable track and perfect to adopt to any of McLeod’s groups in concert.

 On “Swingin’ Csardas” and “Norma,” McLeod reminds everyone of why he is highly in demand as a fiddler; his technique is flawless and he floats easily between the jazz swing sound of Grapelli and the slower tones of a serious violinist.

 Family is a major influence and inspiration for McLeod’s music as no less than four tracks are about his mother (“Norma”), daughter (“Morgan Amanda”) orgrandchildren (including “Little Cutie”). You can hear his pride in them through his fiddle strings.

 The album ends with a Reinhardt composition, “Minor Swing” (after McLeod’s Django-ized version of “Jingle Bells”) and the entire 38 minutes comes into full focus. Daddy G, the McLeod alter ego, is completely revealed as the outstanding performance craftsman the Celtic world has known for years.

 “I believe life is the most precious gift and that we honor all those who gave us life and taught us to live by enjoying it,” McLeod stated. “Music is the best way I know to do that and help others to do the same!” I dig it, Daddy G! Get this CD  and you’ll dig it too, daddy-O!

Recommendations from hosts 

August, 2018 - "This was one of the best shows we have had in a very long time! The music was technically excellent, but it was also a great time for the audience! We even learned an easy Ceili dance. We can't wait to have them back."
(M. Cantlon)

July, 2018 - "McLeod Nine was awesome! They entertained our friends and neighbors even though mother nature didn't cooperate and we had to move everyone to the garage (thank goodness for a big garage!) Christy had us dancing up a storm in there - it was a great time! We would recommend them to everyone!!"
(G. Nadeau)

July, 2018 - "Incredibly gifted couple. Fiddle playing beyond anything I have ever seen. Lovely blend of voices, very friendly and engaging the audience to participate. Our group loved the Celtic numbers especially. All of the music was enjoyable. Look forward to seeing them again!"
(R. Berry)

August, 2017 - "Wow! What fun we had on the patio last night! Christy and Gordon are such incredible people, such incredible musicians, and man can Gordon make the music rise above the trees! Everyone enjoyed the night and gave much praise to the fun Gypsy, Swingy, Funky, Folky Down Home Music! Having everyone join in to sing and shake their egg shakers just made the night! We must have you back again! We must! Love you Christy and Gordon!"
(T. Vaughn)

March, 2017 - "It's tough to dance a jig when you're waiting on knee surgery but I surely did so at McLeod Nine's performance. Gordon and Christy McLeod have been striking out on their own of late (usually to be found w popular Dallas based Celtic band, Beyond the Pale) w fantastic results. Playing originals more Americana oriented mixed w some Gypsy Jazz & some Celtic tunes. Great stories peppered w expert & tasty fiddle, guitar & mandolin. Had the audience in their hands. A wonderful evening enjoyed by all!"
(C. Bernhardt)

McLeod Nine Live Montage

The Catfish Nightmare Blues

Ceili Dance led by Christy

Voodoo Lady

Dog Year--The McLeods

Minor Swing Live--Gordon and Christy McLeod

Christmas Wish by McLeod Nine