Nuala Kennedy is an Irish singer and flute player whose music features her liltingly beautiful vocals, adventurous instrumentation, and an imaginative mix of influences. Although she is rooted in the Celtic music of her native Ireland and adopted homeland of Scotland, Nuala has gained critical attention for her eclectic cross-genre work. She has performed and recorded Will Oldham (Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy), Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), Euros Childs (Gorky’s) and the late Canadian composer Oliver Schroer.
On NOBLE STRANGER, Nuala’s third release, the music shines with the raw energy, purpose and confidence of an artist who has come of age. Nuala is accompanied throughout by her touring trio: percussionist Donald Hay, guitarist Mike Brayn and mandolinist Iain Macleod and the tight musical arrangements and deep grooves attest to the staying power of these road-tested tracks. While each of the band members are outstanding contributors in their own right, the shining star here is Nuala and the material reflects her evolution as an artist over her past three releases. Nuala explains: “The material here is a reflection of my own interests in traditional music and new compositions. Classic traditional songs such as ‘My Bonny Labouring Boy,’ and ‘Matt Hyland’ seemed to re-emerge as a natural part of this record and a small but beautiful vintage Casio keyboard also inspired new songs, including ‘Gabriel Sings’.”
“Kennedy doesn’t so much imbibe or inhale as swallow, whole and unadulterated, melodic and rhythmic influences from beyond her kith and kin. She is not only an exceptional interpreter of the tradition; her own music glistens with freshness.” —The Irish Times
“Bright and rhythmic, percussively accentuated playing…a voice of luminous clarity.” —The Herald (UK)