Dayna Malow
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Dayna Malow

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos




Dayna Malow is a new face on the Chicago music scene. She is a singer and songwriter but her style is not based on and defined by her own acoustic guitar playing like many others who use those words to describe themselves. In fact, this particular night she was strictly a singer, leaving the instruments to her eight-piece band. She is more country than folk, more contemporary than classic. This show at Gunther Murphy’s was the release party for her new CD Anywhere But Here. The record paints a picture of an artist shooting for the airwaves of modern country stations nationwide, which would seem to be an attainable goal for Ms. Malow. She is a trained vocalist and has a voice equal to many of the big hit-making women of Nashville. More importantly, she has the songs and production to go with her vocal chops and seems to understand what that area of the music business is looking for. Make no mistake: there is nothing alternative about her brand of country. Live and on record, Malow is slick, tuneful, and together and comes across as a lady in waiting for her shot at the stars, rather than an aging punk with a cowboy hat on like so many other "country" artists in Chicago.

Gunther’s was packed to the ceiling by the time Malow and her band took the stage. The band was an expanded version of her normal lineup and featured all the players that had contributed to Anywhere But Here. They did an excellent job of backing here up, although the small stage left little room for Dayna to step out front due to the sheer number of musicians on it. The crowd seemed pretty familiar with the songs already, which is always a good sign. Malow and company ran through the music on the CD and got much love in return from those assembled. Most of her tunes are strong, but the best of the lot was "Richness In My Life". This song has ‘hit’ written all over it and this reviewer can easily imagine it blasting out of country fans’ car radios all over the USA.

This night was a triumph for Malow and her band, but, of course, much work is still in front of her. It would be nice to see her catch on and build a following here locally, but she is a little more polished than most of the stuff that gets popular here in punk-obsessed Chicago. Malow may very well have to look outside the area to really get her shot. The thing of it is she is enough of a singer to make that shot count when she gets it. Time will tell, as it always does, but the future may find Dayna Malow
everywhere but here.

© 1999-2002 The Morrissey Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved
- Mike O'Cull

"Chicago Music Guide"

"Dayna Malow, a relatively new singer/songwriter to the Chicago music scene,
having released her first cd entitled "Anywhere But Here" it sounds like this
is more her 3rd or 4th release. This CD is flawlessly put together with more
than knowledge and talent, there's a lot of love poured into it along with
Dayna's soul. It's something you can feel when you hear it. The feeling of
the CD is relaxed, like a lot of time was put into the making of it, not
what one would expect from an artists' first release.

The Vocals
Passionately sung, her vocals sweep you away from the first note and keep
you soaring through the entire cd as she gently brings you down for the
final song entitled "Walk Away." She sings with tenderness and in such a
personal way, it is hard not to come away from listening to her CD without
feeling like you've found a new friend.

Skillfully written, Dayna succeeds in writing about some difficult life
situations and still manages to keep the overall feel positive and hopeful.

With a well balanced blending of musical styles and instruments, Dayna keeps
the moods fresh and light. The mixing was well done as well, I can't even
think of anything bad to say about the music, or any part of this CD; it is
just that well put together.

Overall, "Anywhere But Here" is a great CD and a perfect introduction to her
new would-be fans (which includes myself). I look forward to hearing a lot
more from this amazing artist!"
- Dennis Kelly

"Pioneer Press"

Malow calls country home

A career in country music wasn't Dayna Malow's first choice, but now the Skokie-bred singer/songwriter wouldn't have it any other way.

"I am going to corner the market on Jewish girls singing country music," said the 27-year-old Malow in a recent phone interview. "As a songwriter you really can't help what comes out of you. You just sit down at the piano and start to play and start to sing and it is what it is.

"I could sit down and write a pop tune or a R&B tune, but in terms of what is near and dear to my heart and what I enjoy singing most, it would be the country and the folk music."

Currently living in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood, Malow is excited that her eight-piece band will be performing in a free concert downtown in Grant Park this Saturday afternoon at the Chicago Country Music Festival.

"It is the biggest country music event that takes place in Chicago," said Malow. "Loretta Lynn is going to be there this year."
Since taking childhood piano lessons, music has been a major factor in the life of the daughter of Skokie residents James and Bonnie Malow.

"My parents were very open to exposing us to different kinds of music and taking us to the theater," Malow said. "Fortunately the schools I attended had large music programs and those teachers are the ones I remember most in terms of being an influence and my favorite classes."

A graduate of the Niles North High School Class of 1994, Malow was active in the school choir and took part in stage musicals which included leading roles in "Bye Bye Birdie" and "Anything Goes."

Singing a different tune

Malow, who had planned to be a classical musician and study opera, credits Niles North music director Dan Gregerman with opening doors for her continued musical education.

"The summer before my first year in college he took me a studio session in Northfield. The director of the University of Miami music program was there visiting and he auditioned me on a harpsichord. So I ended up going into jazz and pop music instead of opera."

Since receiving a degree in jazz vocals and studio music at the University of Miami in 1998, Malow has gained attention locally as the lead vocalist for Speakeasy Swing, toured the Midwest with the Milwaukee-based band Orphans and sung a capella in the musical production "Klub Kokomo," staged a few seasons back at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.

Since 1999, Malow has performed regularly with the David Rothstein Orchestra singing jazz, pop, rock, R&B and traditional Jewish selections at corporate events and weddings.

First love

Malow traces her love of country music back to her college days in Florida.

"After four years of living with different roommates, I found myself being exposed to different artists that I probably would have never come across being in Chicago," she said. "It greatly influenced my writing and the style of music I started to listen to more and more for enjoyment."

Released in October, 2002, "Anywhere But Here" is her first solo CD.

Passionately sung with a sweet, clear voice, the self-produced Jabberwocky Records release features eleven original songs written and performed by Malow, three of which she co-wrote with producer-guitarist Chris Cash.

"They are all autobiographical in some way, shape or form," said Malow. "I went through a bad break-up with someone I had been with for a very long time and this album was my silver lining."

Malow concurs that heartache does put one in a country music frame of mind.

"I carried a lot of baggage for a while and I had plenty of time to simmer over things and go through different ranges of emotions," she said. "One of the things I love about country is that it is such a story-telling type of music. It can be very direct. There is not a whole lot of ambiguity in a lot of the songs."

For Malow, even her CD song titles tell a story. Consider the emotional arc that runs from "The Chance to Love You" to "Six Hours More" to "What Did I Ever See in You" to "Walk Away" to "Brand New Life."

Malow and her band perform at 12:30 p.m. Saturday on stage at the corner of Balbo St. and Columbus Drive in the Chicago Country Music Festival. "Anywhere But Here" is available at
- Dan Pearson


Dayna Malow- Anywhere but here
Released on Jabberwocky Records 2001

Dayna Malow- Tangled Up In You
Released on Jabberwocky Records 2004

Dayna Malow- What's the Worst That Could Happen
Released on Jabberwocky Records 2008

Mark Lonsway- Not Your Typical Cowboy
Released on Jabberwocky Records 2005

Dayna Malow Also Appears on

USO of Illinois - "A USO Salute to Heros"

Chick Singer Night Productions- "The Sound of Women's Dreams"

Amy Lynn Bala- "Drive, Drive, Drive"



Dayna Malow grew up in Skokie, IL, just 10 miles North of Chicago. She began studying voice at the age of 14 and carried this passion into her college years where she attended the University of Miami to study jazz voice and studio recording. Living in Florida, being surrounded by some of the country's finest jazz musicians and immersed in the Latin culture, one would think Dayna would have chosen the path of jazz chanteuse or Latin songstress, but she was most enthralled by the music coming from under the door of her Kentucky born roommate. He introduced her to artists such as Alison Krauss, Lucinda Williams, and Lynn Miles. Her newfound infatuation inspired her to embrace the traditions of Country music as both singer and songwriter.

Upon her return to Chicago in 2001, Dayna released of her first album, “Anywhere but here” and received much local acclaim, numerous accolades and highly favorable reviews. Acting as artist, manager, booking agent, and bandleader, Dayna began booking shows throughout the Midwest. By the end of 2003 she had secured dates with Country superstars like Blake Shelton, Gary Alan, Mark Wills, and many others, playing some of the areas most popular and prestigious venues and festivals.

In late 2003 Dayna began to plan the recording of her second album with longtime friend and Nashville based musician, Doug Sisemore (music director for Reba McEntire), acting as producer. Their efforts were realized with the 2004 release of her second album, "Tangled Up In You." The album received critical acclaim and favorable reviews from critics all over the world. By 2006, Dayna's average yearly performance schedule consisted of 100+ shows in 6 different states and her songs could be heard on Country radio stations throughout the world.

In addition to her solo pursuits, over the years, Dayna has been fortunate enough to collaborate with various talented and notable songwriters. A result of one such pairing was the song "Duermo en las calle", written with Fred Scott, Alberto Gaitan, Ed Williams, and Emilio Estefan. "Duermo en las calle" was released by legendary Cuban artist Albita Rodriguez, and is featured on her Grammy award-winning album "Albita Llega". The song can be heard on Spanish radio stations throughout the world. Dayna has 2 additional songs appearing in the Estefan publishing catalog. She has had songs featured on MTV's "The Real World", The Weather Channels "Storm Stories", on records released by independent aritsts, as well as in indie films. She is also the voice of the "Santastic" experience, playing at malls across America.

2008 has been a big year for Dayna. She will released her 3rd record, "What's the Worst That Could Happen", in September, her second collaboration effort with the aforementioned Doug Sisemore, and was awarded the Chicago Music Award for 'Best Country Artist". Currently she can be seen performing with her band, as well as with the Illinois based USO troupe, providing entertainment at special events and military installations throughout the Midwest.