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Malinky


Country of origin:

Scotland

Type of music generally:

Traditional and neo-traditional folk

Status:

Most recent release, Far Better Days (2015)

See also:

Malinky's site

Wikipedia's entry on Malinky

Comparisons:

The Capercaillie of their early waulking songs, pre-electronic Garmarna, Eliza Carthy

Covers/own material:

Traditional and their own neo-traditional material

General comments:

One of the absolutely best bands currently doing traditional folk. They are excellent musicians and vocalists, their arrangements and musical skills bring vigor to their traditional material, and their own compositions stand up well to the excellent company they keep. Their female singers, both Karine Polwart and later Fiona Hunter are amongst the best I've heard for singing traditional material, and Steve Byrne and Mark Dunlop, their male vocalists, have strong, evocative voices as well (in fact Mark Dunlop's voice has a strong Richard Thompson-like quality). They bring life and verve to the material. Delightful listening and highly recommended for anyone interested in traditional Scottish ballads and tunes. (Neile)

Recommended first album:

Any—all are excellent

Recordings:


last leaves

Release info:

2000—Greentrax Recordings—CDTRAX190

Availability:

U.K.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Karine Polwart—vocals, guitar
Steve Byrne—vocals, bouzouki, guitar, cittern, mandolin
Kit Patterson—fiddle, guitar, mandolin
Mark Dunlop—bodran, whistles

Produced by:

Davy Steele

Comments:

A powerful debut. Last Leaves introduces Malinky, a group of Scottish musicians who can play the hell out of their instruments and sing both lively and mournfully. The whole album is good, but I particularly love the their energetic "The Light Dragoon" and "The Bonnie Lass of Fyvie", the tragic "The Dreadful End of Marianna for Sorcery", and the encounter with the horrible witch "Alison Cross" (Steeleye Span called her "Alison Gross" in their vresion of the song). This album is delightful. (Neile)

3 ravens

Release info:

2002—Greentrax Recordings—CDTRAX233

Availability:

U.K.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Jon Bews—fiddle, harmony vocals, vocal drone
Steve Byrne—bouzouki, guitar, cittern, octave mandolin, vocals, harmony vocals, vocal drone
Mark Dunlop—whistles, bodrán
Leo—box, box drone, whistles
Karine Polwart—guitar, bouzouki, vocals, harmony vocals

Produced by:

John Morran

Comments:

This is another wonderful collection of songs and tunes. Special favourites are "Billy Taylor", "Thaney" (a Karine Polwart composition), "I Dreamed Last Night of My True Love", and "The Trawlin' Trade". Highly recommended for all fans of traditional music. (Neile)

the unseen hours

Release info:

2005—Greentrax Recordings—CDTRAX276

Availability:

U.K.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Jon Bews—fiddel, backing vocals
Steve Byrne—bouzouki, cittern, guitar, lead vocals, backing vocals
Mark Dunlop—bodrán, whistles, flute, uilleann pipes, lead vocals, backing vocals
Fiona Hunter—lead vocals, backing vocals, cello
Ewan MacPherson—mandolin, guitar, octave mandolin, tenor banjo, jew's harp, darabuka, backing vocals

Produced by:

John Morran

Comments:

A third strong collection of songs and tunes, excellently performed. The loss of Karine Polwart is not at all a deadly one—in fact, Fiona Hunter's vocals are just as strong, and her cello is a wonderful addition to the band's sound. Their versions of "Clerk Saunders", "King Orfeo" and "The Bonnie Banks O Fordie" are particularly brilliant and full of verve. Again, highly recommended. (Neile)

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