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LISTEN: Dundee student pens touching song about dad with help from folk legend

Daniel Pukkila and David Maloney.
Daniel Pukkila and David Maloney.

A Dundee student has struck up an unlikely partnership with a Grammy-nominated musician.

Daniel Pukkila, who studies computer arts at Abertay University, used his free time during the summer holidays to pen an emotional song about his father, called Come Rest A While.

When looking for a musician to sing his song, he stumbled across 76-year-old David Maloney, one half of Seattle folk duo Reilly and Maloney.

With no idea how successful the veteran performer’s career has been, Daniel got in touch with Maloney to ask him to record the track.

The 20-year-old said: “When I listened to his work I thought to myself that he was perfect.

“I had initially been looking at younger artists but no one really fits with the tone of the song.

“David’s voice had so much soul and energy, it had emotion and depth.

“I have to be honest, at the time I had no idea how successful he had been in his career.

“After he agreed to work with me, I did further research and discovered that he was a folk-music veteran and a former Grammy nominee and I realised what a big deal this was.”

Daniel Pukkila.
David Maloney.

The pair talk regularly and have become good friends, although they have yet to meet.

Daniel added: “There is a big age difference between us and we haven’t actually met in person, but as David put it, art can transcend any border.

“He inspires me, and he told me that I inspired him. We are like kindred spirits and share the same ideals.”

Daniel Pukkila.
David Maloney.

Maloney’s career has spanned decades and he is best known for his pairing with fellow folk singer Ginny Reilly, which started in the 1970s.

In 2016 the duo performed together for the final time during their 45th Anniversary Farewell Tour. Since then, he has been working as a solo artist.

He said: “As a lifelong songwriter and performer I was intrigued by Daniel’s query about turning his song into a ballad with universal appeal.

“After several days of writing, rewriting, composing and sculpting, Come Rest A While felt complete.

“It is my view that the creative spirit knows no age and our communion on this project was an uplifting experience for both Daniel and myself.”

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