David Malachowski (1955-2022) | General Arts & Culture | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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David Malachowski (1955-2022) 

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  • David Malachowski
Word reached us over the weekend that beloved Hudson Valley guitarist and music journalist David Malachowski had passed away on September 30 at the age of 67, a victim of heart failure connected to cancer treatment that he’d received as a teenager.

I got to know David a bit when he took over for me as music columnist at the Daily Freeman when I moved on to Chronogram in 2006. A sweet and sunny soul with friends all across and at all levels of the upstate music scene, David always struck me as a true, in-the-trenches lifer: a musician who loved music completely, really felt at home only among musicians, and was unwavering in his determination to do whatever he had to do to make a life in music and never settle for some kind of mundane nine-to-five existence. He also wrote about music for Metroland and the Albany Times-Union.

Born in Schenectady, Malachowski played in several Capital Region bands before getting his first big break as the guitarist and music director for country star Shania Twain during the height of her mid-1990s fame. In addition to also working as a sideman to Janie Fricke, Genya Ravan, Garth Hudson, Phoebe Legere, Long John Baldry, and others, he performed with legacy acts like Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Savoy Brown, Pavlov’s Dog, and Saratoga folk-roots faves the McKrells. Our paths crossed less after he’d relocated from Woodstock to New York in 2013 to play in world-touring pit bands for the smash Broadway musicals “Rent” and “Mamma Mia”; in Albany, he served as music director of the Capital Repertory Theatre’s productions of “Always ... Patsy Cline” and “Hank Williams: Lost Highway.”

David Malachowski is survived by his daughter, Lindsay Malachowski, and ex-wife, Laurie Snyder. A concert celebrating his life is planned for the coming months.
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