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#11 Edition Culture - Owl Dolls

Ríoghnach Connolly is best known as the voice of Honeyfeet & The Breath, and for her Manchester-based Black Lung, where she brings a medley of collaborators together for one-off shows. Of all her many collaborations, the most Sunday of all is probably a gorgeous new project called Owl Dolls with multi instrumentalist, singer songwriter and occasional session vocalist Leonie Evans, who has been performing since the age of five and has never stopped - and of whom the high priestess of Sundays Cerys Matthews observed "Like nothing else I've ever heard in my life, I was just blown away with her".

Ríoghnach is an Armagh born singer and flautist strongly rooted in her trad Sean-nós background. She also stirs elements of Appalachia, Blues and Jazz into the folk archive cooking pot. “The Black Lung project began as I started piecing together the songs of my grandparents and those that I had grown up learning in the Armagh Piper’s Club. After collaborating with musicians in many different genres, on eclectic circuits, finding so many different types of folk songs out there, I want to bring all my loves under the one roof…just see what happens…” Featuring some of the most prominent musicians from Manchester’s Folk music scene, Connolly presents a show where roots music and folk traditions stand side by side. Through her performances with Honeyfeet, and collaborations with the Cinematic Orchestra’s Stuart McCallum, Connolly has already set a high standard as a band leader and vocalist. Tonight’s rare Owl Dolls set could be the best thing we have had at SPL, maybe ever. Stay, sway, and fall in love a little.

“Connolly is a free spirit and strikingly self-assured…” according to Mike Butler of CityLife… “seldom has conspicuous greatness been more accessible.”

“We are gonna Sunday your face off” – Ríoghnach Connolly

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