Now an award-winning singer in her own right, Fiona first came to the wider folk music audience’s attention when she joined the Scots song champions Malinky in 2005, having learned traditional songs first-hand from the Perthshire-based Stewart family, as well as through formal studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.
With Malinky, Fiona has toured internationally and to date has recorded four enthusiastically received albums. The group won the Folk Band of the Year category at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards in 2010.
In 2014 Fiona released her eponymous first solo album, featuring her interpretations of songs from both the lowlands and Highlands of Scotland and debuting her band with some of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians. The album and subsequent concerts earned glowing reviews and in 2015 Fiona won the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards’ Scots Singer of the Year title.
Further acclaim came when Fiona sang with the large-scale Grit Orchestra, formed to celebrate the music of maverick techno-folk musician Martyn Bennett, at Celtic Connections on the tenth anniversary of Bennett’s death in 2015. The orchestra, with Fiona ably taking on the daunting role of singing Move, as sung by Sheila Stewart on Bennett’s Grit album, has gone on to appear at the prestigious WOMAD festival and at Edinburgh International Festival.
The Grit Orchestra subsequently made a triumphant return to Celtic Connections in 2018, playing to a capacity audience of 13,000 at Glasgow’s Hydro arena. This time, Fiona sang Blackbird/What a Voice, from the singing of Lizzie Higgins, as stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill recreated his YouTube sensation climb of the Isle of Skye’s Black Cuillin Ridge on a scale model onstage.
While continuing to work with Malinky, whose twentieth anniversary album, Handsel, featured guest appearances by singers including Len Graham, Barbara Dymock and Ellie Beaton, Fiona has formed a successful musical partnership with the outstanding Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes and appeared in the centenary celebrations of Scottish folk music’s patriarch, folklorist, poet and song collector Hamish Henderson.
Fiona releases her second solo album in 2020, produced by her Malinky colleague Mike Vass and featuring songs learned directly from mentors including Ray Fisher, Alison McMorland and Sheila Stewart.