Darren and Friends
Darren Maloney is regarded by critics and peers alike as one of the most outstanding musicians to emerge in Irish music in recent times. Now based in New York City, Darren has been busy forging a career for himself since he moved from Cavan in February 2006. Late last year he signed with Island Heart Artist Management based in Chicago and New York, which will see extended touring not just in the US but Europe also in 2008.
At the moment Darren is working with several musicians under the Darren Maloney Band name on new material for a new forthcoming CD.
In 2004 Darren recorded a solo album, not a spur-of-the-moment decision but one that had been planned for some time. That album ‘who?’ has received world-wide acclaim and marked Darren as a future star. “I’m glad I did that CD, the time was right, it’s a great photograph of where I was at the time…I’d do it differently now, but I’m so proud of it, it’s been a great calling card for me”
“The evidence is clear, unquestionable and resounding – this really is one of the best albums of the year and sets a benchmark for not just future banjo albums, but future independent releases”, wrote Geoff Wallis for fRoots Magazine about that debut CD.
In May 2006 Darren was selected for a world-class string workshop at Carnegie Hall led by stellar tutors, Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Mike Marshall and Jerry Douglas — each worshipped in their various fields of acoustic music. The tutors hand-picked the participants from 150 entries sent from 32 countries. The workshop culminated in a performance on the most famous of musical stages — Carnegie Hall. “It was an unbelievable experience, one I will never forget, I smile every time I pass Carnegie Hall even now” said Darren
After that performance Darren started attending Michael Daves, a renowned guitar teacher and performer who lit up last years Longford Banjo Festival as part of the Tony Triscka Band. “I needed to get more adept at soloing over chord changes, something not that common in Irish Music. It was strange taking lessons again after 20 years, but it opened my eyes to a new way of looking at music, composition and improvisation”
In 2005 Darren became the first Irish banjo player to be endorsed by the prestigious Deering Banjo Company, based in California. He joined musicians such as Béla Fleck, Rod Stewart and Garth Brooks as an ambassador for their instruments. “Finding consummate musicians to represent our banjos is not always an easy task. Darren Maloney falls into a level of musicianship that has a limited membership. His technical expertise is beyond compare”, said Carolina Bridges, Marketing Manager at Deering Banjos. In March this year that relationship was extended further when Deering decided to include a copy of ‘who?’ with every tenor banjo they export world-wide.
Darren will be joined by Shane O Sullivan on percussion, guitar and vocals-lwho was ong time collaborator of Heidi Talbot ….and Vonnie Quinn on Fiddle and Vocals….one of the hidden talents on the Irish Music Scene today……