MICHAEL FLATLEY – On A Different Note (Unicorn Entertainments)

There’s one thing Michael Flatley can never be accused of and that’s shying away from his own self-created public image. More established these days for his dancing prowess many may have forgotten or not even known that he is also a highly talented flute player…in fact…as an ex-all Ireland champion no less he can more than hold his own with the best of them! This album is a double CD featuring 25 sets of predominantly traditional tunes mostly given folk-rock arrangements although you wouldn’t have necessarily know the tunes were traditional (“Morrison’s Jig” and “Spanish Cloak” etc) as each set is given a general title but never broken down to its component parts or for that matter credited as traditional. Still, let’s face it, in this modern age of ours what’s a copyright payment between friends? It’ll probably come as no surprise to those that know me know I enjoy my folk-rock with a bit of fire in the belly and in this Flatley does not disappoint. Outrageous gestures on a grandiose scale such as the opening track “Rise Of The Tiger” feature alongside more subtle moments including the bluesy “So Easy” and “Whispering Winds” from his previous show Feet Of Flames. I’ve always been of the opinion that if money is no object then the production should convey this and hopefully, so long as you are prepared to be as broadminded as I am and put aside any cynical differences of it appearing ‘flash and artless’ the overriding effect will be pleasing to a far wider demographic and in this instance it’s a case of ‘job well done’. Perhaps not in the same league as Michael McGoldrick when it comes to displays of technical flamboyance Flatley is without doubt a fine musician whose heart lies squarely with his traditional roots and the ‘folk’ world should be proud we can count him as one of our own.

PETE FYFE

Artist website: http://www.michaelflatley.com/


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