Malinky – Far Better Days (2015)

Artist: Malinky
Title Of Album: Far Better Days
Year Of Release: 2015
Label: Malinky Music
Genre: Celtic, Folk
Quality: mp3 320 kbps
Total Time: 47:47 min
Total Size: 109 MB

1. Tarves Parish 3:01
2. The Brisk Young Lad 3:33
3. The Twa Sisters 6:30
4. The Fairy King’s Courtship 3:38
5. Son David 5:26
6. The Moss o’ Burreldale / Lady Mary Ann 3:53
7. The Bonnie Hoose o’ Airlie 5:42
8. Edzell’s Bonnie Braes 4:16
9. Long Cookstown 3:24
10. The Term Time 3:14
11. The Wild Geese 5:10

In summer 2014, under the guidance of producer and long-time friend of the band, Donald Shaw of Capercaillie, Malinky took to the studio to record their fifth release, Far Better Days, this time on their own label, with support from Creative Scotland, after a decade with Greentrax Recordings. The album features songs from Scotland’s north-east including Tarves Parish and Term Time from the landmark Greig-Duncan Folksong Collection, as well as songs from the classic ballad repertoire, flexing the band’s trad credentials with Fiona Hunter having learned the ballad Son David from Andy Hunter (no relation), a pupil of the acclaimed Traveller singer Jeannie Robertson. The album further demonstrates Fiona’s commitment to and expertise in the songs of Scotland’s Travellers, with Lady Mary Ann from the singing of Lizzie Higgins and The Bonnie Hoose o Airlie from Belle Stewart. Fiona played a major role in the recent orchestration of Martyn Bennett’s GRIT at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections, broadcast on BBC2, singing the songs of Lizzie Higgins and Sheila Stewart. With Hunter now a Malinky member for 10 years, having originally been brought in to replace Karine Polwart, she has surely established her place as a natural heir to the tradition of clear-voiced, authoritative singers in the same vein. Steve Byrne’s work as an archivist in recent years has unearthed gems such as Edzell’s Bonnie Braes, a relatively unknown song in the tradition, via his work as a song cataloguer for the Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches archive digitisation project, and his song-craft is again to the fore in his Scots-language translation of a Swedish version of the Twa Sisters ballad. Mark Dunlop’s Antrim roots are given voice in his choice of material from the Sam Henry Collection, with The Fairy King s Courtship and Long Cookstown making a mark for his Ulster song heritage. With his recent work In the Wake of Neil Gunn garnering rave reviews, Mike Vass’ ascending reputation as composer and arranger in the The Guardian s words, ‘a classy, thoughtful musician’ with ‘a great ear for atmosphere’ – is showcased through his contribution of original tunes and delicate orchestration underpinning the songs with characteristic charm and expression, both on fiddle and tenor guitar introduced to the Malinky mix for the first time. Since forming out of the Edinburgh session scene of the late ’90s Malinky has, for the past 15 years, been the leading group focusing on traditional Scots song. With four acclaimed albums under their belt and an extensive tour roster across the globe, Malinky has become one of the most distinctive and accomplished bands on the Scottish folk scene. Folk Band of the Year in 2010’s Scots Trad Music Awards, Malinky’s hallmark song-based repertoire is performed by three superb lead vocalists and arrayed with tastefully inventive instrumentation, uniting seasoned maturity with sparkling freshness.

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