The Malina Brothers Gave us a Truly Amazing Concert

28 April 2019, 17:00
The Malina Brothers Gave us a Truly Amazing Concert

One of the musical highlights of last week was the concert of the Malina Brothers with two unique guest musicians, Kateřina García and Charlie McCoy in the Sono Centre in Brno. And because the performance was recorded on a professional video for the band’s first live DVD, the evening itself was extraordinary both in its length and quality.

As the name implies, the Malina Brothers are a group built on the close family relationship of three of the four members: the eldest, Luboš (*1959, plays banjo, guitar, low whistle and vocals in MB), the middle one, Pavel (*1960, plays electric and acoustic guitar and vocals) and the youngest, Josef (*1979, violin and vocals), who were joined by Josef’s former ZUŠ classmate from Náchod, Pavel Peroutka (*1977, double bass and vocals). What used to be a three-man brotherly group formed from sporadic playing in the Peklo pub near Náchod, where the repertoire, based on traditional country and tramp music (Pavel and Luboš having played in the legendary Náchod band Kliďánko), with elements of bluegrass, swing, folk and Irish music, also began to form. It was only nine years ago, on the occasion of an unfulfilled concert opportunity that they expanded with the double bass and strong harmony vocals of Pavel Peroutka and the “family” concert-giving became a pleasant addition to their usual obligations as professional musicians, which include many rather famous names.

Luboš and Pavel Malina belong to the founding line-up of the band Druhá Tráva, with Pavel playing with among others Věra Martinová, Lenka Filipová, Pavlína Jíšová and not so long ago in the Žalman a spol. group, while Pavel Peroutka was a bass player and singer in the bluegrass band Reliéf and today is one of the supporting holding pillars of Spirituál kvintet. Josef Malina had his own band P.R.S.T., has played with Monogram, was a guest artist in Druhá tráva and Cop, and currently plays with Jimmy Bozeman & The Lazy Pigs. But the richest musical career is that of Luboš Malina, being not only a famous producer, band-master, composer and arranger, but mainly a sought-after studio player with a very wide range of genres. After forming a distinct playing style with Poutníci and Teagrass, he is currently engaged with the bands Druhá tráva, Trapeři, Garcia, Kon Sira, in the jazz trio Malina-Liška-Nejtek and occasionally with the Malinaband formation (which is not the same as Malina Brothers). However, in terms of what each of them brings into the group’s repertoire, they are well-matched.

The wide range of the evening’s playlist (twenty-five tracks with three additions) was mostly a copy of the group’s three published albums: Rychlejší koně (2013) where the repertoire comes mostly from the pen of the Náchod tramp-country songwriter Mirek “Skunk” Jaroš, Malina Brothers & Charlie McCoy (2015) and Malina Brothers & Kateřina García (2018). It was only logical that the important concert included both of the star guests – the world’s most respected harmonica player, Charlie McCoy, hailing from Oak Hill in West Virginia, and the European star, singer of (not only) Irish ballads, Kateřina García. This Prague-born great-granddaughter of Alfons Mucha teaches Spanish at a university in Dublin. The arrival of both of them was beset with complications, but all went well in the end. Nevertheless, even without almost any rehearsals, with only one trial concert in the Prague Zahrada Cultural Centre the day before, their performance was perfect.

The concert’s programme in the first half more or less copied a gradual “best of” selection of their released projects. The band began with the title song of the first album, Rychlejší koně (Faster Horses), a composition by T. T. Hall adapted and with Czech lyrics by Mirek “Skunk” Jaroš, which was followed up by Skunk’s own song A život běží dál (And Life Goes On). The mlodies of Midnight Highway and The River Is Wide were accompanied by a gradual setting of instrumental and vocal positions. Songs with vocals were soon superseded by the instrumental track of Luboš Malina, Zlatá éra (Golden Age), a reference to his beginnings in the band Poutníci. The performance of Malina Brothers peaked with the arrival of Charlie McCoy on stage. The knowledgeable audience greeted him with ovation and Charlie soon returned the good will – at almost eighty he is still in brilliant form. He dominates the harmonica not only as a frontman, but also sensitively accompanies as a sideman and sings very well. He played and sung alternately in the songs Blue Train and Memories To Burn, later performing a duet in the instrumental Rose of Killarney with Luboš’ low whistle. Then it was the turn of the repertoire of the Rabiš osada, a reminder of the Náchod tramp-country band Kliďánko, where both of the elder Malina brothers begun – Stín staré řeky (The Shade of the Old River) followed by Ben Foster, both written by Standa “Huňáč” Skala. As an addition, we got to hear the story of an Alabama mine disaster, McLaren, once again by “Skunk” Jaroš, a generation older tramp-emigrant from Dvůr Králové.  Kateřina García then excelled on stage with tracks from last year’s third album – Roses In the Snow,  the slow, ballad Irish version of The Banks of the Ohio accompanied by Kateřina on the shruti box (a mini harmonium  Indo-American producer Nick Dillon) and Irish medley Kerry Fling – Moll Dubh a´Ghleanna. This was followed by the introduction of the different creators, Josef Malina (Jabloň, Hany and Ikaros), Luboš Malina (with an instrumental track from the Afterparty CD Gejza a Berta) and the superb reminiscence of a Plíhal-style melody and poetry by Pavel Peroutka, who created a musical version of the charmingly ironic text of Honza Velíšek, Vypadáš krotce (You Look Tame). Charlie McCoy then recalled two of his famous co-players: with a beautiful solo that he had recorded for Kris Kristofferson’s album for the song Help Me Make It Through the Night (Sundej z hodin závaží), and a similarly brilliant interlude in the country ballad about hoboes, Silver Ribbons by Waylon Jennings. After Éra parních lokomotiv (Era of the Steam Train), it was the turn of one of the evening’s highlights, a track that everyone who ever had an interest in folk and country knows. This was one of the most famous trad jazz works, the Scottish ballad The Water Is Wide, about the sad end to a romance, chosen and presented by Katka García, reminding the audience of many Czech versions (Širý proud by Spirituál kvintetu, Rákosí by Rangers, Žalman’s Barevný šál and Waldemara Matušku).

The end of the concert was another expedition into the past, with Skočná from the opera by Bedřich Smetana, The Bartered Bride, arranged for Poutníci by Luboš Malina. Another genre jump, this time to the world of film melodies, was the modified theme from Pulp Fiction, Flowers on the Wall (originally by The Statler Brothers), which the Malina Brothers performed with elegance. All three encores were very stylish, the audience having clapped so hard for: Návrat, Lady Yesterday and at the end of course Foggy Mountain Breakdown, concluded with a brilliant harmonica solo by the tireless Charlie McCoy. The CD is set to be released in January of next year, when the Malina Brothers will be celebrating ten years of (official) existence. And we already know it is something to look forward to.



No comment added yet..

The Olomouc Baroque Festival has begun. In the local Jesuit Convent the seventh year of the festival opened with the modern premiere of the serenata Il tribunale di Giove by the Austrian composer Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf. The work was first performed at the birthday celebrations for the Prussian King Frederick the Great on 27 January 1775 and after a repeat in Wroclaw in 1777 it fell into oblivion. The Ensemble Damian decided to reverse this unfortunate fate, and led by the ensemble’s artistic director and director Tomáš Hanzlík they attempted to revive the work. Appearing in the solo roles were Leandro Lafont (Fate and Apollo), Kristýna Vylíčilová (the Genius of Europe and Minerva), Lucie Kaňková (Time and Fortune), Monika Jägerová (Jupiter) and Jakub Rousek (Mars). The costumes and backdrops were designed by the director Hanzlík.  more

The Slunce [Sun] Festival in Strážnice will be held for the twentieth time this year. Especially lovers of folk music and classical big beat have  marked the dates of 12th and 13th July in their calendars. We talked to the director of the Slunce Festival Pavel Kopřiva about the history of the festival, its top moments and hardships, as well as what this year's festival season will be like.  more

The end of the first school-holiday week was carried in the spirit of celebrations. The 7th of July in fact falls on the birthday of Alena Veselá, a prominent Brno organist and a professor at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (JAMU), who celebrated an impressive age of 96 years on that day. The concert, organised particularly for this jubilee, was also the final event of the 39th Brno Organ Festival and as a celebration of the birthday of its founder (and now patron of the whole show), it already has a strong position in the festival programme.  more

We live in a free democratic society, in which the role of the state is to create the environment and conditions for the development of creativity and creative potential, being aware that today's living art creates cultural heritage for the future.  more

Last weekend, the 74th Strážnice International Folklore Festival 2019 as well as the 37th Strážnice Children's Folklore Festival were held in the South Moravian Mecca of folklore. The biggest folklore festival in the Czech Republic enjoys great interest and it wasn't  any different this year either, despite tropical temperatures, with tens of thousands of people coming back to Strážnice again.  more

On the 100th anniversary of the birth of poet Jiří Orten, the company ProArt prepared a multi-genre project called Ohnice – Where the Wind Is Dancing in the former Brno penitentiary on Cejl Street. The poetic production with verses of the young poet, which reflected his hard and short life, was premiered on 25 June.  more

The twenty-fourth season  of the Concentus Moraviae international music festival came to an end after almost a month of rich musical experiences. Musical works, thematically labelled as the Concert of Nations, guided the festival visitors around thirteen picturesque Moravian towns and gave them a taste of key musical works of (not only) European nations. All this was moreover served in the interpretation of more than twenty world-famous ensembles. With the conscious transnational, cross-border concept overreaching the Czech border, the festival organizers chose the Golden Hall of the renowned Musikverein Concert House as a suitable venue for the closing evening. The extraordinary finals of the 24th season opened thus a series of Concerts of Czech-Austrian Partnership and at the same time announced  the celebration of the festival's quarter of a century to be celebrated next year. In accordance with this symbolic overture of the concert, the main star of the festival was the patron of the festival and famous singer Magdalena Kožená, accompanied by the no less famous Collegium 1704 orchestra led by Václav Luks.  more

One of the biggest promises of the 24th Concentus Moraviae international festival was yesterday’s concert of the legendary Borodin Quartet, whose unique sound is the result not only of hard work but also collaboration with the composer Dmitri Shostakovich. This personal and interpretive trail still influences the group and is passed on to each new member. The programme took place in the library of the castle in Náměšť nad Oslavou , where in the 18th and 19th centuries it was the residence music-loving Haugwitz family. The music of Sergei Prokofiev, Joseph Haydn and Dmitri Shostakovich could be heard by the audience in a venue that was more than merely dignified.  more

In the summer months Špilberk Castle’s courtyard often resounds to the sound of music. Until September it is possible to combine a tour of the castle with a cultural experience. The organizers have tried to prepare a programme across genres that has something for everyone. Yesterday it was the turn of folk music. Despite the adverse weather the stage was dominated by the Military Art Ensemble Ondráš.  more

The last premiere of the Brno opera season for the first time ever and rather unusually combined two works. The Janáček Theatre presented the surrealist opera Three Fragments of Juliette by Bohuslav Martinů along with the small opera work The Human Voice by Francis Poulenc. The composed evening, with direction and stage design by David Radok, brought together two almost absurd worlds. And this connection was indeed remarkable dramaturgically, visually but also interpretatively.  more

The Polish ensemble Szymanowski Quartet at the Concentus Moraviae Festival presented works by their compatriots Karol Szymanowski, Stanisław Moniuszko and Gražyna Bacewicz in the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Řeznovice yesterday. The concert was part of worldwide celebrations of the two-hundredth anniversary of birth of Stanisław Moniuszko, which is considered by many to be the founder of Polish national music. The evening was held under the auspices of the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the Czech Republic, HE Barbara Ćwioro.  more

Visitors to concerts meet quite often with quartet compositions written by masters of European music. Haydn's string quartets are perennial stars in the repertoire of a number of ensembles and attention is also paid to works of contemporary European composers. Only exceptionally, however, can listeners take a peek into the musical cuisine of Asian or South American nations. Cuarteto Q-Arte decided to fill this blank space and dedicated itself to the works of Latin American authors. The programme, which they presented yesterday at the chateau in Slavkov u Brna (Austerlitz), consisted of works by Silvestre Revueltas, Alberto  Ginastera and Astor Piazzolla. All these three composers combine elements of domestic culture with European training and influences or impulses of different genres.  more

Why be one of the many average bands when we can be a unique band? The ten-year history of the Brno group Kupodivu could be squeezed into this motto. In 2009, saxophonist Jaroslav Pilný and keyboard player Petr Šašinka first talked about forming a band. In 2019, the band Kupodivu [Surprisingly Enough] is releasing its first full-length album. Exactly in the middle of this ten-year period, in 2014, an important change took place when the original folk band was transformed into an interesting shape with keyboards, saxophone and bass, but without a guitar. The line-up, which resembles rather jazz bands in recent years, has scored at a lot of folk festivals in recent years. Kupodivu won the Porta award for authors, the Rada Notování [Council of Notation] award, won the Moravský vrabec [Moravian Sparrow], and won second place at the Mohelnický dostavník [Mohelnice  Stagecoach]. At all these venues they performed music that rather than campfires fits into city clubs, and by far not only folk ones. The album Živočišné pudy [Animal Instincts] summarizes the band's work so far in a dignified way, underlined by the quality sound from the Zlín Studio V.  more

The Jerusalem Quartet is one of the world's leading quartet performers for many years and is currently one of the most cited chamber music ensembles. At the Concentus Moraviae festival, violinists Alexander Pavlovsky, Sergei Bresler, violist Ori Kam and cellist Kyril Zlotnikov performed in the Great Chateau of Mikulov Castle with a programme stretching in time from Joseph Haydn up to Béla Bartók. The concert was held under the auspices of the Israeli Ambassador to the Czech Republic, HE Daniel Meron.  more

Man does not live by classical music alone, as the Epoque Quartet, consisting of violinists David Pokorný, Vladimír Klánský, violist Vladimír Kroupa and cellist Vít Petrášek has been convincing us for twenty years already. For their Saturday concert, staged as part of the Concentus Moraviae festival, which took place in the foyer of the Pasáž theatre in Třebíč, the musicians also invited bass clarinettist Petr Valášek, pianist Karel Košárek and percussionist Oleg Sokolov. The programme of the evening consisted entirely of works by contemporary authors flirting in their compositions not only with musical minimalism, but also with jazz and other popular genres.  more


Znojmo Music Festival enters its 15th season this year. The programme includes concerts, opera performances, gastronomy and a programme for children. The opening concert, performed by the patron of the festival Pavel Šporcl and the PKF - Prague Philharmonia under the baton of Derek Gleeson, is dedicated to the reminder of the fall of the Iron Curtain. The culmination of the festival is the premiere of the scenic oratorio Saul by G. F. Handel. The title roles will be performed by Andreas Scholl and Adam Plachetka. The show will be directed by Tomáš Pilař.  more

The 165th anniversary of the birth of Leoš Janáček falls on today, Wednesday 3 July 2019. Janáček is one of our opera composers most frequently played abroad. TIC Brno dedicated a tram to him for his birthday this year, with the main characters from his operas graphically rendered by Brno artist Vendulka Chalánková. Janáček also has his own website, an educational trail, a memorial and an opera festival.  more

The Multi-genre festival Vaňkovka Fest this year offers concerts, an open-air cinema and stand-up performances. The month-long festival at the Galerie Vaňkovka in Brno will play host to Aneta Langerová, Dan Bárta, Lukáš Pavlásek, Ben Cristovao, Michal Pavlíček & Trio and many more.  more

The autumn program of the Fléda music club in Brno contains big names of the music world. The August visit of Jon Hopkins', who will appear at the Brno Marathon of Music festival is already at its imaginary beginning. The autumn season officially opens with a September dance party featuring GusGus from Iceland. This will be followed by concerts of Hooverphonic with a new singer, Jan Blomqvist & Band with their complete Disconnected project or the Berlin legend DJ Hell with his Zukunftmusic composition. Rockers De Staat will bring their novelty titled The Bubble Gum, Movits! their most hip-hop record so far – the double album V, Kadebostany in turn will bring their album Monumental. Last but not least, Vitalic with Rebeka Warrior will also be featured presenting their KCompromat project.  more

The album collects folklore tunes and songs from the Moravian meadows. After several years of work on the Anthology of Moravian Folk Music, the Indies Scope label decided to continue with a new series of folklore recordings called Malovaná truhla  [Painted Chest]. One of them is the album Kosecké písně [Mowers' Songs]. The album features Kubíci dulcimer music band from Horňácko, Women's Choir of Hrubá Vrbka, Chotár male choir from Horňácko and others.  more

This festival will enliven the streets in the centre of Brno throughout the summer. The programme promises a total of 53 events such as concerts, workshops, theatre performances, dance rooms or sporting events.  more

Traditionally, the beginning of the summer holidays is accompanied by the festival Boskovice – for the Jewish Quarter. This year's 27th edition will be launched by the Les Bubbey Mayse quartet from France, inspired by Klezmer and traditional Yiddish songs. The musical program also features concerts of bands such as Neurobeat, Khoiba, Kittchen & Aid Kid with Tomáš Neuwerth or Panenské plameny.  more

The upcoming production of Kde tančí vítr  [Where the Wind Is Dancing] is based on Orten's collection Ohnice. The author of the project is the Brno choreographer and director Martin Dvořák. The central character of a poet will be performed by young actor Daniel Krejčík.  more

Brno Philharmonic announces a selection procedure for the position of advance sales administrator. Starting from 1 August 2019.  more

The Kamenka Open multi-genre festival will revive the meadow in the Kamenná kolonie neighbourhood in Brno for the tenth time already. This year's guests include Funky Pappa, Jamiroquai Tribute Band and Pleasure Portable. Theatres will be represented by the Hysterie Theatre, Koráb Theatre or the Bez Pravidel Theatre.    more