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Album Review

With its distinctive double-flute attack, Flook (named for a character in an old British comic strip) has an airy sound whose roots might be in Irish music, but whose branches extend far and wide, often well beyond the Celtic world, and on Rubai the band even offers some jazzy touches, such as the flute/wah-wah mandolin interplay on "The Empty Pod." There's a wonderful, easy melodicism about the sound, whether it's a jig, a Swedish polska, or even a hint of reggae, as on "Granny in the Attic," with its glorious trombone. And while much of the material is original (or contemporary), there's a traditional feel about it all, making it readily accessible. Guitarist Ed Boyd might have a supporting role, but he fills it wonderfully, while John Joe Kelly remains something of a revelation on bodhran, making it as expressive as a whole range of percussion. In many ways, this is Flook's real coming-of-age record, where everything sounds exactly as it should, with a continued expansion of the musical boundaries. It can only be a matter of time — and sooner rather than later, one hopes — that Flook's true genius is finally hailed.


Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s

A frontline of three flutes and whistles isn't the kind of thing to guarantee success, even in the folk field, but that's what Flook (named for a cartoon-strip character who used to appear in one of the British dailies) opted to do when they began life in 1996. There's no denying that it brought them plenty of attention, but in part that was because of the quality of the playing and the backgrounds the musicians brought to the project. Irishman Brian Finnegan had been a member of Upstairs in a Tent,...
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Rubai, Flook
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