Maria Doyle’s Lockdown Listening 2

Over the Hill Music Collective – ‘Kodachrome’ 2019

[Over The Hill, a not for profit organisation was set up in 2012 by founding member Paul Kane. It is aimed at everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or religion. It is run by Paul and Chip, and our board of directors including support from Volunteers.]

The album, Kodachrome was the surprise course of this audio digest. If there was an inverse proportion between expectation and kinetic energy radiating off a record, these ten songs would sum it up. The track, ‘The Lines of Time’ freezes a moment that defines a life, sage advice.  These Various artists deliver everything from Skiffle to Spanish serenade.  A pan-Americana feel that permeates the album, gives a comfortable revisit down at the Hayride or at that first barn dance where you helped prop up the wall.

The individualist anthem ‘Hands Off’, calls out its My Body, My Mind, respect my years, even if you consider it antiquity. The total turn ups for the recording are, in my opinion, the two female contributions of Liz Kelly and Alice La.  Understated soulful, bluesy intensity from both, and listening to the La track, ‘Sisters’ made me automatically want to listen to it again, and not because I was reviewing it for an album, but because it was top notch stuff.

Over the hill culture is a thing of the past, but that past had beauty and value, and now, factually, it does not exist anymore.  But a similar fate awaits all…We all become “Rudderless” at some point. Over the hill it may be, but it is flushed with an excitement, enthusiasm, sand enjoyment of making good music, in troubled times.

The String Ninjas

String Ninjas are an instrumental duo made up of two Belfast musicians: Fingerstyle Guitarist Gavin Ferris, and Classical Violinist Mick Conlon. They have a regular residency from 10pm at the John Hewitt, obviously during more normal times. In Lockdown, by the time of printing, they will have given two outstanding almost-gigs live from the Joihn Hewitt, minus heckling, which allows them sole concentration on playing, which they do so, so well. Listening to instrumental music requires a different skill, but once mastered instrumental music can still tell a story, because it taps into raw emotions internally, if you let it, and tell the listeners’ own unique tale.

String Ninjas – Teardrop (massive Attack Cover)


Folks we are beside ourselves with inner chi at the prospect of bringing you this spiritual whopper of a music video. Brand new, hot of the presses and brought to you by ourselves and the kind hearted, talented, warm and cuddly folk at Roadie TV is our rendition of the epic track “Teardrop” by the one and only Massive Attack.

We have to say this turned out to be a truly epic video. Thanks again to Roadie TV for putting it all together, The Playwright for allowing us to use their beautiful Bar and to Massive Attack themselves for writing a mega epic tune.

Much Love

Gav and Mick

#belfaststringninjas #stringninja #massiveattack #teardrop #covers #instrumental #arrangement #fingerstyle #guitar #electricviolin #ireland #belfast #newmusic #gigalert

Posted by String Ninjas on Friday, 29 September 2017

Maria Doyle and Kieran Kennedy

Maria Doyle Kennedy is an Irish singer, songwriter, and actress. With a singing and acting career that has spanned nearly 30 years, she has established herself as one of Ireland’s most prolific artists and entertainers.

She formed The Black Velvet Band with her future and still husband, Kieran Kennedy in 1987.  She was part of the trio of backing singers in The Commitments (1991).  She has had starring roles in Downtown Abbey, The Tudors and Outlander. Songs from the Kitchen Table is a current album in 2020 by Maria, but it has also been the name of a series of half hour concerts from her home, with her husband Kieran aired on Instagram at 8pm on Friday evenings during lockdown.  Presently they are valiantly reaching week 13, covering a right job lot of own material and covers, some swiped from the modern-day charts, considering requests, and reaching out to a ‘small world’, including South America, Russia and Germany.  The constantly updating app feed reflects the diversity and the differing experiences of world pandemic.

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New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.