The Whileaways see three distinct voices combining to weave a beguiling tapestry of harmonies and beautifully crafted original songs. Their sound is true, their performances gloriously engaging.
These three singers could all front their own projects, and indeed have, with six previous albums to their collective credit. Having toured separately, they came to know each other’s singing on home ground while playing sessions in the folk melting pot of Galway city. Dipping their toe in the water as a trio, they were hailed as ‘a knockout of the festival’ at the legendary Port Fairy Folk Festival, Australia in 2012, and have continued to make waves in the folk music scene both at home and abroad since then.
Their critically acclaimed most recent album 'Saltwater Kisses' received a four star review in the Irish Times and was the RTE Radio 1 Album of the week on it's release.
This is a unique combination of songwriters, singers and voices, whose enthralling live performances have secured their firm footing in Irish roots music. Prepare to be spellbound.
Noriana Kennedy, whose solo album Ebb n Flow received rave reviews in Ireland and as far off as Australia where she was acknowledged as ’an exceptional young artist with a rare ability’ (ABC Australia).
Nicola Joyce, ‘a magnificent vocalist who sings with sheer beauty and poignancy” (Earl Hitchener, The Wall St. Journal), recorded and toured extensively as the leader singer with the group Gráda, working with folk stalwart and Grammy winner Tim O Brien along the way.
Noelie McDonnell, ‘a startlingly good Irish talent’ (New York Post), spent two months in the iTunes Top 10 folk album charts and has three solo albums to his credit.
Noriana Kennedy's career started off as an in-demand folk singer and musician in Galway where her musical career began in 2005 as lead singer of Irish contemporary trad band Nábac. The five-piece performed regularly in Ireland’s well known folk venues and at music festivals such as the Electric Picnic and The Galway Volvo Ocean Race Festival. Their spirited performances saw them tour in Austria, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Denmark for five years and produced by Seamie O'Dowd they independently released their album 'Siar Anoir'.
With a strong interest in playing American old-time music she became on of the most prominent voices in Irelands thriving American folk scene. She founded five piece Americana band Mad Uncle Harry in Galway. They gained large much praise for their toe-tapping and warm folk excursions, and were invited to perform at the Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival,The Sixmilebridge Music Festival and The Electric Picnic.
Noriana’s musical journey has culminated in the recording of Ebb ‘N’ Flow, which brought some of the finest musicians on the scene together including musicians Trevor Hutchinson, Gerry Paul (Grada), Sylvain Barou (flute), Sean Regan (fiddle) and Sharon Shannon. Her debut album Ebb n Flow, reveled in both the Irish and American folk tradition. The Irish Times lauded Ebb N Flow for its “…exquisite phrasing and a songbook as wide as a southern porch…”. Further to her solo success Noriana found herself at the fore of the Irish roots music scene, singing with esteemed players like Pauline Scanlon, Sharon Shannon and The Waterboys' Trevor Hutchinson. She performed on The Late Late Show representing 'A Womans Heart 20th Anniversary” and performed as part of Country Time Radio Show and also Pat Kenny on RTE Radio 1. Her solo performances consistently won audiences over with her nuanced, joyful performances and her fluid playing of the quirky hybrid banjo-ukulele. Her performance at the Galway Arts Festival was reviewed by the Connacht Tribune as one of Galways most memorable folk concerts in 2011.
In 2013 Noriana teamed up with Galway musical stalwarts Nicola Joyce and Noelie McDonnell and began her journey of songwriting. She has since produced two albums with The Whileaways both of which were given four star reviews by The Irish Times and her song writing is at the heart any of her performances.
Noelie McDonnell has been described by the New York Post as 'a startlingly good new Irish talent’. Noelie has recorded three studio albums to date and his songwriting has been recognized by both fans and fellow musicians for its beautiful and simple observations on everyday life. In 2008, Noelie McDonnell, won the hearts of new fan's all over the nation with his Irish chart topping single, 'Nearly Four' which also remained at No.1 in the iTunes folk chart for 6 weeks following its release.
Noelie has toured extensively in the US and UK since 2005, and has also played festivals and clubs in Italy, Germany, and Spain. He has shared stages with The Hothouse Flowers, The Sawdoctors, Luka Bloom, Eddie Reader and Greg Brown and played to crowds of up to 3,500 people in prestigious venues such as The Manchester Apollo, Glasgow Barrowlands, London’s Shepard’s Bush Empire and The Nokia Centre in Times Square New York.
With band 'The Cabin Collective' he performed on the Late Late Show in 2013 and had radio hit single with 'Marrakesh' which is has recently been released as a track on 'Today FM's Whole Lotta Live Album'.
Before joining The Whileaways, Nicola Joyce was best known as lead singer of Irish folk group, Gráda.
“Joyce is a magnificent vocalist who sings with sheer beauty and poignancy” (Earl Hitchener, The Wall St. Journal). She hails from Galway, in the west of Ireland.
Grada was one of Ireland's most successful touring bands. As the band’s lead singer since 2005, Nicola has performed over 150 concerts across the globe annually at major festivals and venues such as Dublin’s National Concert Hall, The National Geographic Headquarters in Washington DC, The Royal Glasgow Concert Hall and the Sydney Opera House.
The band released four critically acclaimed CDs to date. The latest, Natural Angle, was recorded with bluegrass Grammy Award winning icon and producer Tim O’Brien, and was named by USA’s National Public Radio as one of the Top 5 Folk Albums of 2010.
Having grown up in the west of Ireland, where she still lives between tours, Nicola was steeped in the rich music tradition of the area from a young age. Just over the road from her home, lived the famous Keane family, and Nicola still regards Dolores Keane as one of the finest singers she has ever heard. But traditional Irish music was not the only thing that influenced Joyce as a young adult. She became very interested in jazz and folk, and later old time American music, which has such close links with her native Ireland. Joyce considers herself to be a mix of all of these influences. Whether she sings ancient Irish songs, contemporary folk, or her own original songs, Joyce’s performance is remarkably heartfelt and honest.