Search - John Whelan :: Flirting With the Edge

Flirting With the Edge
John Whelan
Flirting With the Edge
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

Wow! This aptly titled CD from John Whelan and his musical friends packs a real punch. Even on the more mysterious and lyrical pieces, there's an underlying, focused energy that says "zone": as in everyone who played on th...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: John Whelan
Title: Flirting With the Edge
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Narada
Original Release Date: 2/24/1998
Release Date: 2/24/1998
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
Styles: Traditional Folk, British & Celtic Folk, Celtic, Europe, British Isles
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 724384544423, 724384544447

Wow! This aptly titled CD from John Whelan and his musical friends packs a real punch. Even on the more mysterious and lyrical pieces, there's an underlying, focused energy that says "zone": as in everyone who played on this album was in one during the recording. Whelan can play a wild, raucous accordion that's never sloppy or self-indulgent, and when he's paired with Oscar Lopez on guitar, the two spawn a chemistry that takes one's breath away. As Whelan says on the jacket, he and Oscar weren't schooled in their instruments, and a lack of self-consciousness shines throughout this collection. The few ballads sprinkled throughout the album add a lovely respite; Connie Dover's work on "Red Is the Rose" is especially radiant, and the flamenco-flavored pieces are surprisingly graceful and genuine. As on 1997's Celtic Crossroads, Whelan aimed on this CD to push the musical envelope via collaboration, and the celebratory Flirting shows the man has again met his artistic goal. --Karen Karleski

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Member CD Reviews

Steve L. (Keerayduh) from ARLINGTON, VA
Reviewed on 2/26/2007...
Includes Broadway and movie star Bernadette Peters

CD Reviews

Another really good cd
(5 out of 5 stars)

"John Whelan's latest cd is another great addition to his others. The music is energetic, moving, haunting, all at the same time. John Whelan is a superb musician and I eagerly await for more recordings by him. Flirting with the Edge is a good name for the CD. John Whelan takes Celtic music ands delivers it with I really like this CD."
Sooooo close to 5 stars
Jason | Baltimore, MD | 12/16/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It really kills me to give this CD less than 5 stars, but it is just missing that one standout track that i would expect from John Whelan. Whelan himself personally recommended this CD to me last year after one of his performances when I was telling him that I want a recording of him going musically insane. Well, don't get me wrong. This recording is absolutely incredible, but there is something missing. Maybe this CD could have benefitted from a live track like so many other recordings have. Anyway, now that I have gotten my sole complaint out of the way, i can talk about all the good stuff.Whelan flirts with the edge in that he challenges the limit and pushes the boundaries. He gets help from many incredible musicians, including Bernadette Peters, Pat Kilbride, Connie Dover, and Oscar Lopez just to name a few. Also helping out is the John Whelan Band, which includes Robin Bullock, one of the most magnificent guitar players you will ever hear (i encourage you to check out his 3 solo efforts as well), and Liz Knowles, a truly awesome fiddler.As far as the actual tracks go, the ones that stand out in my mind are "Dublin Lady," sung by Peters, and "Red is the Rose," sung by Dover. It surprises me that even after listening to this CD for hours on end, the tracks that I remember most are the ballads. Usually, I skip the ballads and get to the good stuff (the reels), and at times, I still do, but unfortunately, the reels and jigs lack some of the punch that i was expecting. Whelan claims that this is essentially a live album because of the enthusiasm that it packs, but I almost wish he would have pushed the boundaries a little more. I want a track where he just takes that accordian and goes insane to the point where he is about to pass out from sheer exhaustion, but you dont get that. He goes crazy at times, but not to the point that he does in concert. Anyway, back to the ballads, you will be captivated. I don't know how to describe the experience, but the pieces are just sung so beautifully by such powerful, yet very traditional voices.Ok, so in summary. This CD is awesome. It is certainly full of energy, and is packed full of talent that can keep you happy for life. This is Whelan's most energetic album yet, so if you want an album packed with enthusiasm, buy it. However, if you want insane accordian playing, wait until he releases a live album (which i'm hoping he will do). Again, it pains me to give any celtic album (I have about 50 irish CDs), especially this one, less than 5 stars, but I have to be honest with myself and everybody else. It could be a little bit better."