Flower & Iron (Mad River Recordings/Greentrax, 2009)
Flower & Iron is the latest release by Malinky, which is one of the finest contemporary folk bands in Scotland. The band includes outstanding instrumentalists, some of which are also alluring vocalists (male and female), who sing in the Scottish dialect (Scottish English, not Gaelic). The song selection on Flower & Iron includes Scottish and Irish pieces with superb modern arrangements using conventional instruments such as fiddle, guitar, [wiki:bouzouki], whistles, flute and vocals. Instead of pipes the band uses instruments that are less common in current Scottish folk music: cello, jew’s harps and shruti box.
Malinky was formed in Edinburgh in 1998 and soon made as mark in the British folk scene by winning the prestigious Danny Kyle Open Stage Award at the following year’s Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow. Two musicians remain members from that founding line-up – Steve Byrne (vocals/bouzouki/guitar) and Irish musician Mark Dunlop (vocals/ whistles/bodhrán). They are joined by Fiona Hunter (vocals/cello), who replaced original lead singer Karine Polwart in 2005, alongside recent recruits Englishman Dave Wood (guitar/bouzouki) and Mike Vass (fiddle).
On Flower & Iron, Malinky shows the extraordinary energy and vision of contemporary Scottish folk music.
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