The ‘irrepressible, inimitable’ singer grew up as part of the Armagh Pipers Club where she had her eyes opened to the world of folk music and how it travelled into other countries and cultures. This would shape Connolly’s time studying and working as a community musician in Manchester, a vibrant city she would be actively involved with, broadening her horizons and helping others at a grassroots level. It was there where Connolly formed Honeyfeet, a ‘folk-hop’ collective who have played countless festivals over the last 12 years and have recently finished recording their third album.
Never restricted to one sound, Connolly has worked both in studio and live spanning across Irish traditional, folk, blues, jazz, electronica and more. Her formidable voice has been used to front a ream of musical projects, including her own 2012 album Black Lung which was recorded before her headline appearance at the Manchester Jazz Festival and adopts traditional Irish sean-nós singing. She is also part of collaboration-based project Beware Soul Brother, spawned from a previous residency in Brazil, regularly features with Afro Celt Sound System and is one half of The Breath with Stuart McCallum, which has released two albums to date.
“Connolly is a free spirit and strikingly self-assured…” according to Mike Butler of CityLife; “seldom has conspicuous greatness been more accessible.”
Armagh born singer and flautist strongly rooted in her trad Sean-nós background, Ríoghnach Connolly also stirs elements of Appalachia, Blues and Jazz into the folk archive cooking pot…
“A voice that echoes back through the ages of jazz and soul, resonant and resplendent in glorious, exploding power and control.”
“A voice so soulful that it seems older than her physical age by about three hundred years”
Ellis Davies is a guitarist, bassist and vocalist with over 20 years playing experience. Residing now in Manchester, Ellis plays with a number of bands including Honeyfeet, Shyfinger and Ríoghnach Connolly. With these acts he has performed all over England and Wales, as well as Brazil, India, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Catalonia, Ireland and Slovenia.
Download the album Black Lung:www.rioghnachconnolly.bandcamp.com
watch some live footagewww.youtube.com/rioghnachconnolly