The founder of SLM, Stephen Leech, hails from Dublin in Ireland, and comes from a well known family of traditionally based musicians. The youngest of the family he started playing music at the tender age of five. With a fiddle, uilleann pipe, whistle, bodhrán and accordeon already in the family he decided to start out on a unique homemade one-string guitar, and would join his older siblings at sessions and fleadhs, singing and playing with gusto. He soon decided the banjo would be his instrument of choice and thankfully it had four strings on it! His talent was apparent very early and by the age of 9 he had already played on TV and radio, followed by his first tour of America with his family when he was just 10 years old.
Throughout his teens he became well known at sessions, fleadhs and festivals both in Ireland and abroad, not in the least because of the amazing speed in which he is able to play the banjo. His nickname "Speedy Leech" was therefore soon born. Stevey and his dynamic playingstyle have represented Ireland at many international folk festivals throughout the UK, Europe and America.
By his twenties he had shared tunes with many well known artists, including the Fureys and Davey Arthur, the Dubliners, Stocktons Wing, the Hothouse Flowers, Gerry O'Connor, members of the Sands family, Divilthebit, The Trad Brothers, Michael Flatley, Sean Keane & Matt Molloy of the Chieftains and many, many more.
Following in his fathers footsteps who has taught over hundreds of children how to play the whistle and accordion all over North County Dublin, Stevey began passing on his talent and love for Irish Traditional Music to many young musicians, working especially with the Irish Travelling community.
One sundaymorning in 1990 Stephen decided to play a couple of tunes in a pub in the Temple Bar area of Dublin. The daily Irish Traditional music-sessions in the Oliver St. John Gogarty pub were a fact since that day, and "Gogarty's" has effectively become the home of traditional Irish music in Dublin, enabling Dublin based musicians the opportunity to meet and play and also giving a chance to musicians from the rest of the country (as well as visiting musicians from abroad) to gather and share tunes, songs and craic, whilst entertaining the thousands of visitors to the Temple Bar area of Dublin. In 1997 and 2005 he produced two CD's of the Gogartys sessions together with the many musicians who play there regularly.
Stephen has been forever planning on completing his first solo-album, which is long awaited by his many fans and friends worldwide, but hopes to start recording soon.