The Ravishing Genius Of Bones
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'The Ravishing Genius Of Bones', 9 immensely crafted tracks from revered Irish tunesmith Brian Finnegan, that swing with a beauty and intensity all their own 'The Ravishing Genius Of Bones' is the first release from Irish flute and whistle tunesmith, Brian Finnegan, since his band, the BBC award winning Flook, took time out in December 2008. Anchored in the tradition of his native land but drawing influence from a much wider musical tapestry, this is a thrilling new chapter for the man with the unique brand of trad. For the past three years Brian has been busy touring with Cara Dillon and more recently his new quartet, KAN, who look set to explode onto the folk scene this coming summer. He has also been hard at work in the studio honing the new material for the beautiful Ravishing Genius Of Bones. Nine tracks of cool and transfixing tunes, brought to life in scintillating style in the stellar company of some of folk and world musics hottest talents. Feauturing Aidan ORourke, (Lau) Justin Adams, John Joe Kelly, Ed Boyd, Ian Stephenson, Leon Hunt, Rex Preston, Damien OKane, Crooked Still and many more, 'The Ravishing Genius Of Bones' will surely cement Brians reputation further in the front rank of the innovators.
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The flute playing is excellent and very light-hearted. Fly is my favourite, followed closely by Belfast. It is not traditional Celtic necessarily, but it is very good all the same. Am very much looking forward to his next album :)
I decided to take a gamble on this his latest solo release, and it did not disappoint. The quality of the musicianship throughout is simply superb as is the overall production of the album. The stand out tracks invariably are those Brian has composed himself and these include TRACK 3 Marga's Moment/The Crooked Reel; TRACK 5 Last of The Starrs; TRACK 7 Forest Baby/Morna/Castlrock Road; TRACK 8 If Only a Little; and TRACK 9 The 40 Year Waltz/Night Ride To Armagh which for me is the crowning glory of this album. This is not to take away from the remaining four tracks which are superbly executed and delivered.
The liner notes include a poem simply entitled Tomas written by Brian's sister Morna, and knowing the family I can only presume this is dedicated to their late uncle Tomas Finnegan.
The overall feel of the album is not so much traditional (There is a strong traditional influence as would be expected here as this is Brian's background), but it is a folk / traditional blend that will appeal to fans of both genres. This is a wonderfully relaxing listen and highly recommended. You do not need to be a fan of Irish traditional music to appreciate and thoroughly enjoy Brian's work. I for one will be seeking out his earlier albums both solo and with Flook.
Then Cara and band appeared on stage and I soon realised that this Mr Finegan was something special in his own right. After a fantastic performance I headed out and decided to by Brian's CD, and it was obvious I wasn't the only member of the audience to be drawn by his amazing playing.
I started listening as soon as I got in my car and was blown away by the music. Since then (over a week now!) I've played little else and the more I hear the more I love it. The sheer technical brilliance of Finegan's playing and the quality of the accompanying musicians make this album really special.
Brian's hauntingly beautiful whistle playing sends a shiver down the spine and leaves you crying out for more. I'm really looking forward to the next Brian Finegan album now although this one has set an impossibly high standard to beat!
Ed and John Joe still play a major part too.
I give it 5 stars and a few more too
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