Date Published: 04-May-2011
Galway-based singer Noriana Kennedy combines the best of the folk traditions from both sides of the Atlantic on her debut album, Ebb n Flow, which she launches in Galway with a gig at Kelly’s Bar this Thursday.
She established herself as one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary folk music as the lead singer of the five-piece trad band Nábac, which will be familiar to Galway audiences for a memorable performance during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in the city in 2009.
The Lucan-born musician discovered a formative love for old-time and bluegrass music in 2006, when she travelled to Virginia to record an EP with the Irish-American band Sawyer Hollow. The passion for American folk music that she developed has imposed itself on her debut album.
“I suppose it is a halfway split between the Irish-Scots influence and the American thing,” says Noriana. “It’s not exactly a hybrid because the influences don’t mix within a song but the album is definitely a mixture of the two.”
The cosmopolitan nature of the record is unsurprising given the multinational makeup of her musical accompaniment. Old-time fiddle players Stephanie Coleman and Cleek Schrey hail from Chicago and Virginia respectively, while guitarist Christof Van Der Ven is Dutch and, although banjo player Gerry Paul was born on native turf, he spent many of his formative years in New Zealand.
In fact, Noriana is momentarily stumped as she tried to name a single contributor to the Irish and American folk album who is Irish. “I think Sean Regan was born in England. Bill Whelan [who plays the banjo] is Irish!” she says finally.
“So are Liz [Coleman] and [producer] Trevor Hutchinson, so there are a few but it’s far from a pure trad CD alright. I hadn’t even realised that! But it doesn’t matter where you’re from if you’re good. People who aren’t from Ireland can actually be more serious about styles than people from home.”
Noriana’s own musical upbringing wasn’t steeped in conventional folk music either, although her parents laid the foundations for both Noriana and her brother Paddy, who was also a member of Nábac, from a young age.
“Our parents were always hugely encouraging towards music for myself and my brother. Mom used to give guitar lessons and dad played the banjo, and Dad would bring fiddles or an accordion into the house, and there was always a guitar lying around.
“We used to get lessons but we’d always drop out,” she laughs. “It wasn’t until we were in our teens that we really got into it.”
Noriana developed a fondness for folk by listening to contemporary bands like Kíla and began singing in sessions in Dublin before starting with Nábac.
“I started singing with Nábac with my brother and a few of the lads – a piper and a guitar player – were moving to Galway to do a music course. They didn’t end up doing it in the end but I moved down here with them at the time and we based the band in Galway.”
It was a fortuitous move in 2005 for both Noriana and the bustling folk music scene here, which has benefited from the addition of one of the finest voices in the genre to its existing pool of talent.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.