RÍoghnach Connolly & Honeyfeet
Still residing as BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year, Ríoghnach Connolly’s taste for musical adventure is eclectic. Along with her folk-hop & barrelhouse-pop companion players, as Honeyfeet, they collectively drive a broad terrain of musical textures from esoteric protest songs to foot tapping, and floor thumping, dance rhythms.
Ríoghnach (pronounced ree-ogh-nah), and the Honeyfeet ensemble are equally proficient in headlining festival stages as they are in stripping back to sublime obscure jazz on theatre stages.
Deadpan wit courses through Connolly’s veins. Known for her broad smiling on-stage banter, she often describes the delight of her multi-cultural voyage of discovery while pushing aside life’s banality in favour mischievous energy and creative joy.
Traditional and folk are fundamental in Connolly’s musical cannon, coming from a long line of singers on both sides of her family, she channels the music of her grandparents and can draw from a breadth of styles and folk traditions across the world. In her voice you can hear equal parts Sean-nós Caoineamh, west African griot ululation and American deep-south resonance. She performs in the more traditional form with Stuart McCallum as The Breath, whilst corralling her more heavily layered and theatrical songs into her performances with Honeyfeet.
Alongside Ríoghnach the Honeyfeet line up is; Lorien Garth Edwards, bass; Ellis Davies, guitar; John Ellis, keyboards; Biff Roxby, brass; and Phil Howley, drums.
An eclectic troupe, all now based in Manchester, Honeyfeet’s brass heavy sound spans from the bountiful to the subtle, with everything from big-band swing to Alabama blues-tinged folk, all held together by the powerful vocals and flute from Ríoghnach.