I am a whistle player and have been a very big fan of Brian Finnegan's playing since the release of his solo CD, "When the party's over " back in 1993. I have followed his path with great interest down through the years, during his days with the northern band 'Upstairs In A Tent' and throughout his work with Flook. Rubai, has to undoubtetly be the finest recording of whistle/flute music there as ever been. This is astonishing playing, from a band who must get such inspiration from each other that the music they make seems effortless and the understanding between them spiritual. I love this CD for it's lightness and grace and for the way it makes me feel so alive, and i hope i can follow the musical joureny of Mr.Finnegan and his brilliant band for many, many years.
Pulsating Celtic music at its dynamic best. Flook is an Anglo-Irish four-piece who play acoustic instruments and deliver traditional Irish themes and styles with a funked-up blend of modern and world idioms, uniting rhythm and beat. The music moves at pace, dropping to more emotional excursions from time to time to allow you to rest your tapping foot. This is an exciting amalgam of flute, fiddle, bodhran, and guitar, with some more exotic instruments making occasional inroads. The flute and fiddle playing has a wonderfully breathy quality. Celtic music is a vibrant, life affirming artistic dimension and the breathiness of the playing makes it all that more vital and accessible. The spontaneity of Flook's music comes across. This is a CD to play when you need your spirits lifted. It is energetic, energising music. The members of Flook have won numerous awards (in Ireland, Britain, and North America) for their musicianship. The driving rhythms of the flute and whistle are magical and you can fully understand, listening to the CD, that this is a superb live band. Superb CD.
Usually folk music sends me off into a deep coma, particularly the trad English variety. With Flook we're on safe ground as they're neither English folk nor snoozeworthy. In fact, you'd be hardpressed to find music more lively and upbeat, not to say that Flook's music is all wall to wall jigs and reels. Even the slower numbers still hold your attention. I saw Flook on the off chance at a festival and reading the programme wasn't exactly grabbed by the idea of two flute/whistle players as the lead instrumentalists. Wrong. The interplay between the 2 is every bit as exciting as say duelling guitars, flamenco or rock. Holding this altogether is a rock solid guitar and bodhran rhythm section. The bodhran playing in particular is virtuosic, if that word exists. Even if you are not fans of folk, I still suggest you give this a go, or their other album, Flatfish.
I'd never heard of Flook until reading the above reviews, and now I'm converting all my pals to this joyous and invigorating music. It can loosely be described as Irish trad but boundary lines get blurred and you're left with hints of jazz, Galician and Balkan music in addition to lovely originals. The CD is totally instrumental, and if the line-up of flute, whistle, guitar and bodhran sounds limited - DON'T BE FOOLED!
Most of the tunes comprise 3 different parts but these are not dance sets as is the case with most Irish music.The players are wonderfully talented - Brian Finnegan is the finest whistle player I've heard, and Sarah Allen is a highly accomplished flautist, at home in a number of styles. Ed Boyd (guitar) and John Joe Kelly provide peerless rhythmic drive and energy, and also bring back memories of Planxty with their short bouzouki-mandolin duet on "Kalamantinos". This segues into "Larry get out of the bin"(!) which has gorgeous harmony on twin flutes, and is my favourite track. If you don't like this one you won't like the album.
"Glass" is a beautiful slow air with more flute interplay and another highlight is Finnegan's impossibly fast "Pressed for time" - do not play this while driving if you want to avoid speeding! "Natterjack" is perhaps the most trad -sounding track featuring guest fiddler Colin Farrell, with a bit of trombone thrown in for good measure !
This is extremely melodic, adventurous music and comes in a very artistic case, more importantly the engineering is superb. I can't recommend this highly enough !
Albums like this are rare. These are expert musicians, who have been renouned as talented individuals, let alone as a group. The band has won numerous awards (see their website [...] Nothing like this has been heard before. It is original, invigorating and inspiring traditional music - with an exciting twist. This music is loved not only by folk music lovers, but by non-folk music lovers and other folk musicians. I cannot recommend this album highly enough!