Jim Malcolm has been called the ultimate Scots troubadour. According to the Boston Globe, his voice "has the complex individuality of an aged single-malt whisky.” He toured as lead singer with Old Blind Dogs for eight years. Now performing solo, he travels the world with guitar and harmonicas and a repertoire of traditional and masterfully crafted original songs. In 2004 he was voted songwriter of the year at the annual Scots Trad Awards and the list of artists to perform and record his work includes Kate Rusby, Beppe Gambetta, The McCalmans, and Alyth McCormack. "Sparkling Flash", Jim's ninth solo CD, is a collection of songs imbued with passion, friendship, history and harmony. Here are 20 Questions for...Jim Malcolm:
1. Earliest music memory.
Hearing the Beatles on the radio.
2. First instrument.
3. Favorite albums in your collection. Do you have a top ten?
Jim Reid, "I Saw the Wild Geese Flee"
Andy Irvine and Paul Brady
Dick Gaughan's "Handful of Earth"
Steely Dan, "Aja"
4. Apart from your own shows, do you attend live gigs? Where?
I like going to Scottish folk clubs, Glenfarg is my local, and traditional music festivals in Scotland. Always very rewarding.
5. Major live music experience (artist, venue, whatever).
Playing in Hawaii with Old Blind Dogs, an unforgettable experience. Not just for the gigs, but picking ripe pineapples for breakfast and managing to stand up on a surfboard for a nanosecond. Brilliant.
6. Musical hero you'd most like to meet.
The great thing about the folk scene is that you often get to meet your musical heroes, which is how I'd describe Jim Reid, Dick Gaughan, Roy Williamson and Paul Brady.
7. Emerging artist(s) to grab your attention lately.
8. Surprise us - other music genres you're drawn to.
It won't be any surprise, but I've always been drawn to jazz: Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and many others.
9. And those you avoid.
Can't get into rap or country music at all.
10. Guilty musical pleasures.
Playing screaming electric guitar solos.
11. Album title you wish you'd thought of first.
Sorry, can't think of any.
12. Best way to discover new music.
You Tube is amazing for new discoveries.
13. Do you watch music DVDs?
Not often. The live experience is much better.
14. Your perfect music listening experience would involve:
Driving through Glencoe on a fine day, listening to a favourite CD.
15. Your all-time any-genre dream band line-up would include:
All of the Beatles as they were in 1966. Hard to beat that. I've never been drawn to the idea of all-star bands. Bands work best when the chemistry is right, which doesn't necessarily mean finding the very best on each instrument.
16. Your music: are you currently working on something in the studio?
Yes, new CD (came out in January). Working hard on that right now. Some new songs of mine, some old songs of mine that haven't been recorded before, and a few lovely old traditional songs.
17. Your shows: upcoming gig/festival you're most excited about:
Club Passim in Cambridge MA and Hartford University in Hartford, CT.
18. Your shows: all-time favorite festival/performance.
Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, with Tesser Call on sound.
19. What might you be doing today if you hadn't become a musician?
"Would you like fries with that?"
20. At the gates of heaven they will be playing:
Harps, hopefully. Not accordions.
Find out more about Jim: