Leo Duffy, one half of the English bluegrass duo, the Duffy Brothers, passed away on Saturday, 17 August from bowel cancer, which had only very recently been diagnosed.
The Duffy brothers, Leo (banjo) and Ray (guitar), mixed bluegrass music – with impeccable sibling harmonies as well as virtuoso instrumental abilities – with humor in a very fluid and thoroughly enjoyable show.
They became professional entertainers in 1978 after winning the Marlboro Country Music Talent show at the Wembley Festival of Country Music.
This led to a steady rise to stardom through the 1980s and 1990s. During the ’80s the brothers won most national awards available, culminating in five consecutive wins of the coveted Duo award by the International Country Music Association.
With appearances on most TV networks including guest spots on BBC 2 and BBC Radio 2, the Duffy Brothers were acknowledged to be at the forefront of bands who helped to popularize bluegrass music in Britain.