Having originally met in the Edinburgh session scene in Autumn 1998, with their first full show in 1999, Malinky began as four people with the shared idea of performing a Scots song-based repertoire in an era dominated by mainly instrumental groups. Although the Malinky line-up has changed over time - the band’s first two albums notably featured Karine Polwart - the line-up of Steve Byrne, Mark Dunlop, Fiona Hunter and Mike Vass has been together now for over a decade.
Malinky’s belief in Scots song as a vital means of local expression has never changed and continues to motivate them twenty years on. Over the past two decades, the band has performed traditional songs the length and breadth of Europe, and from coast to coast in North America, releasing five albums and winning awards, collectively and individually, along the way.
To mark the 20th anniversary, the band wanted to celebrate the generation of singers who have inspired them. Barbara Dymock, Hector Riddell and Len Graham represent the Lowland Scots, North-East bothy ballad, and Ulster song traditions which have shaped Malinky’s tastes, styles, and repertoires over the years. In addition, the band were keen to mentor some younger singers who are part of the next generation which will carry on the tradition: Ellie Beaton (17), Cameron Nixon (20) and Dàibhidh Stiùbhard (23) have been identified by the band as emerging singers of note.
A handsel is a good-luck gift, given to mark a special occasion. What could be more special for any band than to celebrate twenty years spent doing what they love? Malinky see the new album as their good-luck gift to all the people who continue to support their music, and to the singing tradition that continues to inspire them to sing up and sing out.
This is a double CD for the price of one and is a unique collection of songs and music which marks Malinky’s 20th anniversary and their welcome return to the recording studio.