The folksinging community was a bit down when Ginny Reilly and David Maloney decided in 1991 to stop recording together after 20 years of performing, mainly on the West Coast.
But last fall they decided to put the magic back onstage after an 11-year break and try to re-establish that old following as well as build a new base.
Their “Together Again” swing has returned to the Northwest for an April 12 concert in Shoreline, another show in a concert list that is now in the 3,000 range.
Reilly is back with her sweet vocals from a gorgeous voice that, when combined with both performers’ songwriting talents and Maloney’s emotional tenor and strong guitar arrangements, has carried them through a lengthening tour.
“It’s invigorating. It allows us to continue to be tight and work out new materials. Both families could use the income. Folksingers our age don’t have retirement benefits,” Maloney said.
Although time and distance had separated the acoustic duo so successful in the 1970s and 1980s, both continued to do musical work, Reilly in Seattle, Maloney in the San Francisco Bay area.
They released the CD “A Collection: Reilly &Maloney,” a retrospective of their work, in 2000.
Maloney spent a decade exploring bluegrass and writing children’s music. He released “My Green Hat,” 17 original children’s tunes in 2002, and “Goin’ to Town,” originals with a Nashville sound, in 1996.
He loves the wonder inherent in children’s music.
The secret, he said, is to “respect the feelings you have and try to verbalize those feelings and experiences so someone can hear it and say, ‘I know what he means about that.’
“For children, that’s not conscious, they just light up in terms of knowing that’s how they feel. Kids are limitless.”
One new song in the Shoreline concert is “Going Home,” is about his aging father-in-law when he was “hanging onto life by a thread,” Maloney said.
“This one came out with a nice feel, a nice little spiritual/bluegrass song.”
Reilly has contributed a new song, too, “Sisters.”
Maloney also has found time to read, recently finishing a pair of biographies on Elvis Presley.
He can now look back and appreciate the work he and his long-time friend have done.
“I also appreciate more the sound we had developed. Even our covers are quite distinctive.”