The Kaje talks “Sing” to Maria Doyle Kennedy

Regular readers of The Kaje will have no doubt grasped the notion that we feel Maria Doyle Kennedy is a musical gift from God. Having been foolishly unaware of Kennedy’s earlier recordings, our senses were awakened when we first received  a copy of “Am I Choosing Right”, the lead single to her sensational new album “Sing”, which is now a constant on the office stereo. Rather than waste time waxing lyrical, we will let Maria Doyle Kennedy speak for herself, after a taste of the track that whet our appetite….

You have managed over the years to garner success both as an actress and a musician-which passion came first?

I have been singing since I can remember (mostly in my bedroom as a way of explaining surly teenage-dom to myself) and I never spend a day without singing.

Have you, at any point along the way, had to prioritise one career path? if so, how did you reach that decision?

Music comes Before acting always. The children come before anything.

You are probably best known these days for your screen work-have you found increased success as an actress has opened pathways as a musician?


You have been working away on your latest album – “Sing” – can you tell us a little bit more about the record?

It’s the best thing we have made. It took some time but that’s ok, good things do. It’s a simpler, more  stripped back album than “Mutter”, focusing on the power of a voice and the beauty of a guitar.

The collaborations with John Prine, Damien Rice and Paul Brady were an extra slice of joy to add to the mix.

The album has been co-written with your husband Kieran, how well do you work together?

We work pretty seamlessly as we’ve been creating music together for a long time. We have built a way of working that suits us and that we don’t have to talk about…. Just do.

Over the years you have collaborated with a number of musicians-what is the secret to a successful collaboration?

I would only collaborate if I had a song or project that needed the particular talent (voice or instrument or whatever) that the other person had….. It’s important to know why you want to work with someone….what you are hoping to achieve.

What has been your favourite collaboration to date?

It was sort-of amazing to hang out and sing with John Prine for “Yes We Will” which is on “Sing”.

Who would it really excite you to be able to write with?

Mimi Parker from Low. One of the most beautiful voices in the world.

The lead single off “Sing” is “Am I Choosing Right”-how did you select this as the lead single?

I asked everyone what song they thought would be a good single …… I’m no good at choosing…… All the songs become like children to me and I find it hard to separate them.

What are your current goals with the music?

To get the world to hear “Sing”.

What else does 2012 have in store for you?

I think it’s just going to be “Sing”, “Sing” and more “Sing”-ing for the foreseeable future…. But that’s only good.

NEWS: Robert Plant Extends UK Tour

Robert Plant is back with his first album since 2007’s six time Grammy Award winning “Raising Sand”

Picking up where the critically acclaimed roots rock of “Raising Sand” – which sold 700,000 in the UK and 3 million worldwide, scooping the Grammy for Album of the Year – left off, “Band Of Joy” was recorded in Nashville with a stellar cast of musicians.

A timeless plunge into authentic Americana, the album was co-produced by Plant and Nashville legend and guitarist Buddy Miller. “Buddy’s integral to this album, you can hear his taste all over the instrumentation,” enthuses Plant. “Buddy’s zone is beautiful, with a lot of reflections going back into mid-Fifties rockabilly, the singing fishermen and all the great country stuff, along with the soul and R&B from Memphis.”

As well as Miller, the Band of Joy is made up of multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott, who provides the mandolin, guitar, accordian, pedal, lap steel and banjo lines, country singer-songwriter Patty Griffin who adds the main vocal foils to Plant’s lead parts, while Byron House plays bass and percussion comes from Marco Giovino.

“Band Of Joy” features intriguing new interpretations of songs from a wide range of sources. Opening with a throbbing rendition of Los Lobos’s ‘Angel Dance’, the album encompasses the glittering drone-rock of Low’s ‘Silver Rider’ and ‘Monkey’, the Fifties-style country-gospel harmonies which transform The Kelly Brothers’ Sixties soul classic ‘Falling In Love Again’, the desolate banjo-driven interpretation of ‘Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down’, the transplanted English/Appalachian folk ballad ‘Cindy, I’ll Marry You Some Day’, and jangling blues imagery of ‘Central Two-0-Nine’.

Robert Plant and the Band Of Joy will be touring the southern states of the USA this July, with more dates to be announced.

Robert Plant’s most eclectic work so far, in a career that has constantly embraced the unexpected, it’s an album which takes in continents of influence and oceans of emotional depth, taking the explorations of “Raising Sand” into bold new territory.

Three new shows for Robert plant’s forthcoming Band Of Joy tour of the UK have been announced for this October.

Plant will be appearing at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall (Oct 18th), Gateshead’s Sage (Oct 20th) and Liverpool’s Olympia (Oct 21st).

These gigs will follow a one-off London appearance at the Forum on September 2nd and precede three previously announced shows in Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester.

The gig will see Plant and his band playing material from his hotly anticipated tenth solo album ‘Band Of Joy’, recorded in Tennessee and co-produced by Nashville legend Buddy Miller, Plant’s first album since 2007’s six time Grammy Award winning ‘Raising Sand’.

Robert Plant and Band Of Joy play:


Thu 2nd                 LONDON, Forum


Mon 18th              EDINBURGH, Usher Hall (newly announced)
Wed 20th              GATESHEAD, The Sage (newly announced)
Thurs 21st            LIVERPOOL, The Olympia (newly announced)
Tue 26th               CARDIFF, St David’s Hall
Wed 27th             BIRMINGHAM, Symphony Hall
Sun 31st                MANCHESTER, Palace Theatre

Please find more ticket info below:

Edinburgh – £40, £35
Box Office: 0131 228 1155

Gateshead – £35
Box Office: 0191 443 4661

Liverpool – £35
Box Office: 0151 263 6633
CC Hotline 0844 811 0051

Band Of Joy is Buddy Miller (guitar and vocals) Darrell Scott (vocals, mandolin, guitar, accordion, pedal, lap steel and banjo), Patty Griffin (vocals and guitar), Byron House (bass) and Marco Giovino (percussion).

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