CELTIC MUSIC CD REVIEWS FOR APRIL 2010
By CATHOLINE BUTLER
THE MALARKEYS Bloody Brilliant
The Malarkeys are a Celtic rock band from Kelowna, B.C. This dynamic group specializes in traditional and contemporary Celtic music, done with an original flair.
All the band members have years of experience performing, writing and arranging music. Their combined backgrounds have travelled through delta blues to Scottish ballads, with a detour or two through British pop and Canadian rock.
Having played around the Okanagan in pubs and at special events, audiences were soon responding enthusiastically to their repertoire and interpretation of standard Celtic songs from such favourites as Great Big Sea, Spirit of the West and their own brand of Malarkey madness.
After repeated requestes from their audiences for a CD, the band decided the time was right to record. With three experienced writers in the band, they soon had 10 original songs ready to record.
The songs run the gamut from lively hand clapping to quick tempo toe tappers and mid-tempo listening songs with a message. Songs on the CD have been compared to The Irish Rovers, East Coast Celtic, Billy Bragg, traditional Celtic ballad to alt country...quite a range.
The lyrics cover everything from work being the curse of the drinking man, to drinking and sailing a tramp steamer around the globe. There is an ecologically topical song, a sad song about a woman left behind by a sailor, and a protest song about the financial meltdown of 2008.
The band has a load of Celtic instruments including: mandolin; fiddle; toy accordion, piano; guitars; djembe; bongos; drums; tin whistle, bass, and, of course, singers.
The Malarkeys have their own philosophy. Their mood is fun. The meaning is as much or as little as you want to bring to it, and the spirit is definitely not to take themselves, or anyone else, too seriously. That’s Bloody Brilliant!
For more information, visit their website at: www.themalarkeys.com. They are also on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
MARK DOWNEY & MARY BRUNNER Roolya Boolya
Roolya Boolya is an Irish word meaning hurley burley. The new CD is a collaboration of two well-known local performers: Irish-born Mark Downey and Vancouver fiddle player Mary Brunner.
Hugely popular, Mark and Mary are frequent entertainers at many of the Celtic pubs around town. Just before St. Patrick’s Day, they released their first CD Roolya Boolya which features traditional Celtic songs and fiddle music on all 12 tracks.
While playing at the Irish seniors’ St. Patrick’s luncheon hosted by the Irish Benevolent Society of B.C., they mentioned to the audience that they had their new CD for sale. They couldn’t believe the response when they immediately sold out of all the CDs they had on hand.
Mark plays guitar, bodhran, and vocals while Mary is a fiddle player extraordinaire. Certified legally blind, Mary has an uncanny ability to know just the right moment and note to join in with her fiddle.
Both Mark and Mary have engaging personalities both on and off the stage and have a loyal following wherever they are playing.
For more information about the music of Roolya Boolya and their show dates: e-mail: email@example.com, or call (604) 771-9688. They are also on myspace.com/roolyaboolya.