"Hunter's strengths lie in a vocal tone that she varies to suit the mood of the song while always sounding like the real deal and her ability to project a genuine empathy with the characters she's singing about.
Between them, she and Vass are onto something with real substance."
– Rob Adams, The Scotland Herald
"...Hunter proved her mettle immediately upon joining [Malinky] in 2005, and time has only continued to improve and enrich her singing [...] delicately steeped in regret while emotively raw-edged, her voice at once firmly settled, or weighted, and dynamically fluid.
...Vass, playing standard six-string and tenor guitars, as well as fiddle [...] in the role of accompanist [...] fulfilled it with exemplary finesse and dovetailing elegantly with Hunter’s cello work."
– Sue Wilson, The Scotsman
Fiona Hunter & Mike Vass have played together for several years in Scottish folk band Malinky, but in connection with the release of Fiona's debut solo album they now also tour as a duo, where they mainly perform Fiona's songs supplemented by a handful of Mike's tunes. Two skillful musicians, who represent some of the best Scotland has to offer.
Fiona Hunter (vocals, cello & shruti box) is one of Scotland's foremost singers in traditional music.
Her career as a singer started when she was completing her degree at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), where she studied under the tutelage of Brian McNeill and other revered traditional singers. She has also undertaken an internship at the Smithsonain Institute in Washington DC. Fiona has a particular fondness for the songs of the Scottish Travellers and has and has learned her craft first-hand among some of the last tradition-bearers in this community.
Fiona has been singing as part of renowned Scottish folk band Malinky for nearly a decade, and has won many accolades with the band including the prestigious Folk Band of the Year award at the 2010 MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards. Twice she has been nominated in the Scots Singer of the Year category at the awards.
Fiona's debut solo album, containing songs from her native Glasgow and beyond, was released in March 2014.
Mike Vass (fiddle, guitar & backing vocals) hails from Nairn in Scotland's tradition-rich north-east and is an award-winning and highly acclaimed fiddler. He also plays several other instruments, incl. guitar and mandolin. Mike is in high demand both as a musician, composer and teacher and has toured frequently during the last few year in many different constellations - with Malinky, with his twin sister Ali and with Paul McKenna Band to name a few.
Mike has released a string of albums containing mainly his own compositions, including the critically acclaimed album DecemberWell - a collection of instrumental music inspired by the Scottish winter and composed in December 2011 - and most recently In the Wake of Neil Gunn, a stunning album containing music written during a boat journey along the west coast of Scotland. In 2012 Mike won the Composer of the Year award at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards.
In summary it is a highly musical duo, where Fiona's beautiful voice fits like hand in glove with Mike's refined accompaniment.