Robin Bullock

Irish Girl

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If you think Sikiotakis is kind of an unusual last name for an Irish flute player, you're right. And if you think Michel is an unusual first name both for an Irish flute player and for someone whose last name is Sikiotakis, you're right again. But if you think that being a Frenchman of Greek ethnic extraction has any adverse effect on Michel Sikiotakis' mastery of Irish flute and whistle technique, you only have to hear this album to see that you're dead wrong. American guitar and bouzouki virtuoso Robin Bullock is given equal billing on The Irish Girl, but Sikiotakis is the center of gravity here, his warm, woody, and lilting tone and joyfully virtuosic delivery inviting both admiration and awe. The repertoire is weighted just a bit too much toward the familiar -- Sikiotakis plays "The Musical Priest," "Rocky Road to Dublin," and "Carolan's Welcome" beautifully, but doesn't necessarily bring anything new to these frequently recorded tunes. On the other hand, the overdubbed flute choir on a gorgeous Scottish lament called "Flight of the Eagles" is both unusual and tasteful, and the Ed Reavy composition "Lane to the Glen" is a melodically twisting surprise. Highly recommended.

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