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Green Monkey Records GM1043

Dante & Eros Faulk are brothers who form a Celtic folk duo playing fiddle and cello. Hailing from Olympia, Washington, they are still in their teens and yet their music displays a surprising level of maturity from such young hands. At 15 and 13 respectively they assimilate a number of idiomatic styles and influences from places such as Ireland, Cape Breton, Scandinavia and also elements of old timey, and bluegrass strains as well. Their first album, Beirt, (which means two or couple in Irish Gaelic) offers a potent distillation of their progress so far.

The range of tunes includes the opening salvo of Tuttle’s Reel, once played by the great Clare fiddler, Bobby Casey, on his In Flight album for Mulligan Records (now long deleted) and The New Custom House, and some older fare like The Wind That Shakes The Barley and The Mountain Road, as well as The Lilting Banshee and Fraher’s Jig - another great oldie. It’s not entirely a nostalgia exercise though as their approach sees Dante play the “traditional cello” which is quickly gaining momentum in Irish circles and proving itself a worthy addition to the musical canon. When the two brothers play together, a natural empathy emerges and it’s a wonder to behold, and while the combination of cello and fiddle in a traditional setting may sound unusual, it provides a strong melodic sound and provides an important united front musically.

While they may be young in years, the music on Beirt and the promise displayed shows a sense of authority and command that’s immediately noticeable and attractive. File Beirt under a grower, and Dante and Eros Faulk under a duo worth watching.

John O’Regan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 121 of The Living Tradition magazine.