Flower & Iron
1. Pad the Road Wi Me
2. Drunken Duck: The Drunken Duck/The Ronan Boys/The Chattering Magpie/The, The
3. Ruaraidh Morís: Cavers of Kirkcudbright/Ruaraidh Mor's Lullaby
4. Why Should I?: Janice Leask of Lerwick/Why Should I?/Jock Hosie's Fancy
5. Ploughboy and the Maid: The Ploughboy and the Maid/Give It a Wee Try, The
6. Shipyard Apprentice, The
7. Sweet Willie and Fair Annie
8. Broomfield Hill, The
9. Dark Horse on the Wind
10. Cows & Cottongrass: Gan Te the Kye Wi Me/Cottongrass
11. When Margaret Was Eleven
12. Road Tae Drumleman, The
Engineer: Jamie MacLean...
Producer: Steve Byrne...
Distributor: Burnside Distribution
Notes: Adapter: Steve Byrne . Personnel: Mark Dunlop (vocals, whistling, flute, bodhran); Steve Byrne (vocals, guitar, Jew's harp); Fiona Hunter (vocals, cello); Dougie MacLean (didjeridu). Audio Mixers: Steve Byrne ; Jamie MacLean. Recording information: Butterstone Studios, Perthshire, Scotland (07/2008). Arrangers: Steve Byrne ; Mark Dunlop. Most traditional Celtic bands focus on tunes first and songs second. Scotland's Malinky take the opposite tack with their fourth album, emphasizing songs over instrumentals and featuring rather unusual arrangements that sometimes pair male and female vocals together -- an approach that is somewhat unique among trad groups. The singing is excellent: Steve Byrne avoids the thin, weedy vocal style favored by so many of his compatriots, and instead sings in a richer, slightly chestier style that very nicely complements the flute-like voice of Fiona Hunter. Most of the songs on Flower & Iron are traditional, and some are quite familiar: "The Broomfield Hill" is very closely related to "The Bonnie Green Broom," and those familiar with the Child collection of ballads will likely recognize "Sweet Willie and Fair Annie" as well. But the arrangements are all new and quietly innovative, and when the band takes off on a sprightly set of reels or slip jigs, the effect is electrifying. The album's low point is a rather ham-fisted antiwar song called "When Margaret Was Eleven," but even that one's not bad. ~ Rick Anderson
Mojo (Publisher) (p.115) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Karine Polwart's old band march on in style with Fiona Hunter shining in Karine's old slot, adding cello to the mix for good measure."
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