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Gig to launch debut album from talented trio The Whileaways

Judy Murphy

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Get three gifted vocalists singing in harmony and you have The Whileaways, who launch their self-titled debut album in Róisín Dubh this Sunday, May 19. The band is made up Noriana Kennedy, Nicola Joyce and Noelie McDonnell, who joined forces when Noriana was looking for musicians to join her on a tour of Australia and New Zealand.

“I was promoting Ebb ‘n’ Flow, my solo CD,” Noriana says. “Nic and Noelie are good friends and great musicians. We hadn’t formally played together but we had played in sessions around Galway. “I booked flights and we all went out there. Really, that’s where it started. The music clicked. Nic sang a few songs, Noelie sang a few, and it emerged that it wasn’t just a thing of my own. So we decided to form a band, a collaboration really.

“After four months touring in New Zealand and Australia we pit-stopped in Japan. We had a lot of Saki drank! We wanted to keep the band going, there was something special there. And the vibe onstage is great, how we work together.”

The word about the newly formed trio spread among folk promoters, and The Whileaways were offered another tour abroad. That offer set the wheels in motion for their debut album.

“During the time in Australia, we got asked to do a tour in Germany,” says Noriana. “A promoter from there saw we were playing as a trio and invited us to Germany. Once that tour was booked, we knew we had to have a CD prepared for it. It gave us a deadline to get the material together, to write the songs and record.”

To make the album,The Whileaways took a road less travelled. Rather than going to a regular studio, the trio went to the home of their friends Larry and Olivia, who live in a log cabin just outside Tuam.

“We spent three weekends there,” Noriana says. “Another mate of Noelie’s, who’s an engineer, brought his gear down and basically converted the living room into a recording studio, and one of the side offices into a control room. We took over, and Larry would cook us dinner in between takes!”

The romantic notion of recording in a log cabin translates into a warmth that runs through the whole album. Being in a friend’s house also added a relaxed atmosphere to the making of the record.

“It helped the whole music to flow, and we enjoyed the process, which I think is key,” says Noriana. “I’ve come out of studios and not enjoyed it, which is reflected in the music. I think the good vibes of the experience are in the CD.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Sharon goes global for lockdown album The Reckoning

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Sharon's new album will be available from this Friday.

Despite Covid-19 travel restrictions, Sharon Shannon has gone global for her latest studio album, The Reckoning, which is being released this Friday, November 27.

The Reckoning, which was composed, written and recorded during lockdown, features more than dozen remote collaborations from locations across the world.

All the twelve tracks have been co-written by Sharon and band members and various guest collaborators.

The full-on method in which it was recorded marks a new departure for the Clare-born musician who lives in Galway City, she says.

“Normally when we work on an album, we do one track at a time,” Sharon explains. “But with this, it seems to be an avalanche when you’re working on 13 or 14 tracks every day. It’s like a minefield!”

One of the key tracks, The Jolly Roger, resulted from a challenge which rugby player Robbie Henshaw presented to Sharon during the first Covid lockdown. Issued via Facebook, her task was to learn a new skill. And she did. After five days of intense practice, she created The Jolly Roger Facebook video . That clip of Sharon and her electric guitar has attracted more than 289,000 views since it was uploaded earlier this year.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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Artists going to dogs in aid of annual auction

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Work donated to MADRA by Galway artist Grace Cunningham and Achill Island’s Padraig McCaul.

Works by some of Ireland’s top artists, including Grace Cunningham and Finbar McHugh from Galway as well as Padraig McCaul from Achill Island and Charles Harper from Valentia Island, will go under the hammer at this year’s MADRA Dog Rescue Charity Art Auction.

The popular event, which kicks off for viewing next week, will take place online year due to Covid restrictions.

The event, will open for registration and online bids next Thursday, December 3 and will remain available to view and bid online until Monday, December 7 .

The goal is to raise €3,000 to contribute towards vet bills for the Connemara-based dog rescue and adoption charity. MADRA is facing major bills, all without the financial support that’s normally generated by its two charity shops – they have been closed for months this year due to the pandemic.

“We have stunning artworks available with an amazing variety of subjects and styles,” explains MADRA co-founder and director, Marina Fiddler, adding that the organisation is “honoured that so many talented artists have donated such beautiful pieces to support the homeless dogs in our care”.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Celebrating Romania on Great Union Day

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ConTempo, will perform a programme from thier native Romania for next Tuesday's lunchthime concert.

The next instalment of the lunchtime music series, From Europe with Love, will take place next Tuesday, December 1, at 1pm. Hosted by Galway Music Residency, it’s the last one for 2020.

It promises to be a special event as Galway’s Ensemble in Residence, the ConTempo Quartet, who are from Romania, celebrate their homeland on what’s known as Great Union Day. This national holiday marks the unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918.

ConTempo will perform a varied programme, showcasing the best of Romanian music. This will feature works by celebrated composers George Enescu and Theodor Grigoriu alongside lesser-known musical treasures. There will be a strong folk theme throughout, making for a lively lunchtime show.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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