At a time when many aspiring musicians drew inspiration from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, these brothers set sail for Scotland in the hopes of making a name for themselves in Edinburgh's burgeoning folk scene. Already accomplished performers, having won numerous competitions in Ireland, the Fureys weren't content at home. Their gamble quickly paid dividends as they caught the attention of the reputable folk label Transatlantic Records. In 1968, their eponymous debut of predominantly melancholy traditional songs (like "Come by the Hills" and "The Flowers in the Valley") coupled with lively tunes was released. The set was essentially a showcase for Finbar's commanding uilleann pipe playing and Eddie's complementary (though unpolished) baritone voice. 1969's The Lonesome Boatman again favored the plaintive traditional compositions, but Eddie's guitar and occasional mandolin were featured more and Finbar's instrumentation was well-balanced between the pipes and his array of whistles. The bittersweet resonance of his Indian flute on the title track is particularly moving.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Sleger