Far Better Days

Far Better Days

Label – Malinky Music MM001 Release date – April 20th 2015 Distribution – Cadiz. “Far better days I trust will come again; For my bonnie laddie’s young, but he’s growin yet” (Robert Burns, “Lady Mary Ann”) 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 BBC 2, singing the songs of Lizzie Higgins and Sheila Stewart. Now a Malinky member for 10 years, having originally been brought in to replace Karine Polwart, Hunter 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 from his native Angus,...