Malinky (Biography courtesy of the Artist’s site, 2005)
Few new bands of recent times have made such an impact as Malinky. From winning an inaugural Danny Award for their open-stage performance at the 1999 Celtic Connections festival, to the all-round rave reviews garnered by their sophomore album, 3 Ravens, in 2002, this Scots/Irish five-piece have emerged as one of the hottest properties on the international Celtic scene. Their song-centred repertoire combines a deep appreciation of tradition with a vibrant freshness of approach, taking in both classic ballads and outstanding original songwriting, alongside sparkling instrumental sets.
"3 Ravens simply shouts "class" from the minute you open the sleeve" (Songlines)
Malinky's current line-up features founding members Steve Byrne (vocals/bouzouki/guitar) and Mark Dunlop (whistles/bodhr?n/vocals), together with later arrival Jon Bews (fiddle/vocals), and new members for 2005, rising star Fiona Hunter (vocals/cello), along with multi-instrumentalist Ewan MacPherson (mandolin/guitar/mandola/tenor banjo/vocals). With three of the five sharing lead vocal duties, and the entire group contributing backing vocals, the richness and breadth of their song palette is second to none, leaving listeners spoilt for choice between Fiona's cool lyrical clarity, Byrne's Angus-accented resonance and Mark's soulful, Ulster-style delivery.
"Magnificent vocal talent" (Scotland on Sunday)
All five, too, are noted as sympathetic and imaginative accompanists, responding fluently to the intrinsic mood and shape of a song, while weaving in colours and rhythms borrowed from a wide swathe of traditional and contemporary sources. Steve has also been hailed as one of Scotland's talented young songwriters, while Mark, Jon and Ewan contribute strong original tunes to the mix.
"A 24-carat belter. . . tune sets as tight as the proverbial duck's behind" (fRoots on 3 Ravens)
A year on from winning the Danny Award, Malinky released their debut CD, Last Leaves, to widespread acclaim. The album spent six months in the US Celtic Radio Chart Top 10, while fRoots magazine called it "one of the most memorable and refreshing debuts to have passed this way in a long time". This success paved the way for a steadily accelerating tour schedule that has since taken Malinky throughout the UK and Europe, with headline gigs including the TØnder, Lorient, Cambridge and Sidmouth folk festivals, as well as several return visits to Celtic Connections, and the prestigious Scottish Folk Festival tour of Germany, where the band now tour annually in their own right.
"Fast-rising stars Malinky gave a sterling send-off to their new second album, 3 Ravens, with their all-acoustic Scots/Irish marriage of tight, vibrant instrumentals and outstanding lead vocals" (The Independent, on Cambridge 2002)
Malinky headed into the studio in early summer 2005 to record their third album, once again on leading Scottish independent label Greentrax Recordings; The Unseen Hours was released on 1st November 2005.
You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.
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