BRIGANDS - Brian Brookes and Caesar Pacifici have been making music for a very long time. Originally from either side of the pond, Caesar grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, NY whereas Brian initially grew up in Wembley, in northwest London, before moving out to the country just after the war. Over the decades their paths and influences have crossed and re-crossed (a very extensive and fully comprehensive biography can be found on their webpage). Brigands is their third album of musical collaboration and, as one would expect, it’s very smooth to listen to, but this is certainly not a case of one year’s experience and a lifetime of repetition! Culminating in a virtuosic album of two musicians on top of their game, their influences have been gleaned from R&B, rock ‘n roll, folk, blues and much more. On the face of it, the range of instruments are fairly standard - guitar, bouzouki, bodhrán and, where appropriate, the drafting in of mandolin and fiddle. However, it is the deft hand of experience that comes to the fore throughout the collection that defines the music. In essence, this is a folk sound, wistfully layered by experience and influence. The finely crafted material that constitutes Brigands is a balanced collection of songs and tunes reflecting robbery in all its guises, both contemporary and traditional. Expertly conjuring up a life in the idyllic greenwood, the opening instrumental piece by Caesar, entitled The Brigands, sets the mood for the whole CD. They say imitation is the best form of flattery and certainly the fine rendition of The Newry Highwayman would give Martin Carthy a run for his money! If you like your folk polished and refined, then this is the album for you. A keeper in all respects.” - John Oke Bartlett

— The Living Tradition

IN GOOD COMPANY - Brian Brooks and Caesar Pacifici have a shared musical past as half of the New York based late 70s traditional/folk band, The Flying Cloud, with fiddler Tony Demarco and singer Dan Milner. After that, Caesar Pacifici established himself as an accompanist on a fiddle duet album with fellow New Yorkers Brian Conway and Tony Demarco, while back in England, Brian Brooks joined The House Band. A Flying Cloud revival of interest looks likely now that two of the band members have formed this duo. Both Caesar Pacifici and Brian Brooks are capable multi-instrumentalists and this collection finds them in cahoots with Kevin Burke, Tony Demarco, Tony Fitzgibbon, Grey Larsen and Angelo Pacifici in a mostly instrumental collection based on Irish, American and British folk music. The intervening years have seen the protagonists develop musically and technically, and while The Flying Cloud was an acoustic band, this album is a more cosmopolitan affair. Expect heavy doses of jazz, blues and rock styles mingled with the traditional roots. The results are full of surprises and move from brisk guitar duets to settings that echo full band workouts. The Morning Dew begins with an extensive Delta Blues flavoured guitar intro, before Kevin Burke’s magic fiddle weaves in the tune and it ends with a fiddle/bones workout. Cool Reggae has sun splashed Jamaican rhythms and laconic vocals that echo 10CC, before heading into the ethnic strains of The Old Copperplate. Grey Larsen adds some flute to Tony’s jigs, while This Side Of The Sun is a plaintive contemporary folk ballad with Brian Brooks’s ethereal voice melding with a slowed down version of Davy Arthur’s Tamlin reel. The Girl Who Broke My Heart gets an ambient bluesy guitar treatment before the slowed down tune emerges, and Paddy Fahy’s Reel gets a 12 bar blues band intro before a Gypsy swing jazz arrangement with a fluid electric guitar break. This typifies a wide palate where eclecticism reigns, and expect the unexpected is the order of the day. Both Caesar Pacifici and Brian Brooks are talented musicians and their imaginative approach works wonders.” - John O'Regan

— The Living Tradition

LEAF - Caesar Pacifici and Brian Brooks played together in the 70s in folk/rock band, Banish Misfortune, and then in a traditional acoustic band, The Flying Cloud. The latter also featured fiddle player Tony DeMarco and singer Dan Milner, and recorded for Adelphi records. After disbanding, Brooks ended up in England and joined The House Band on their second album, 'Pacific', adding bouzouki and keyboards and contributing to that album’s sonic canvas. Brooks and Pacifici hooked up again in the UK some 30 years later, this time as a duo, the intervening years increasing their musical outlook and combined dexterity. Their first recent collaboration was In Good Company, a 2018 release of traditional Irish, blues and original music that features playing by fiddlers Kevin Burke, Tony DeMarco and Tony Fitzgibbon, flautist Grey Larsen, and electric guitarist Angelo Pacifici. Now, Leaf is their second duo album, recorded in Ireland, America and England. One can hear individual strains and ideas mapped out on previous occasions, and the ghosts of The Flying Cloud and The House Band float by occasionally, but slowly a composite identity emerges. The combined effort is one of reinterpreting traditional forms and ideals for a contemporary world, and finding close harmony within the creative spheres. Ballads like Spencer The Rover and Jack Orion feature guest spots by Grey Larsen, Tony Fitzgibbon and Jack Laskey, and The May Morning Dew features Clare Brooks on vocals – with the main artists and their guests contributing admirably. The instrumental sets, Leaving Brittany, The Butterfly, Sliabh Russell and A Fig For A Kiss delicately meander and swoop rhythmically when needed. Touches of blues, jazz, rock and semi-classical strains infiltrate the traditional sounding canvas, but it’s one that is finely hewed and diametrically tight. John Martyn’s May You Never ends the album on a note of consolation and hope – and one certainly hopes that this combination will reveal further works like Leaf. ” - John O’Regan

— LCCR - Eclectic Celt

IN GOOD COMPANY - If you were a New York City Folkie in the 1970s, you will remember Wednesday nights at the Eagle Tavern on 14th Street. Dan Milner started a great club there and introduced outstanding guest performers to New Yorkers. Regulars were Charles O’Hegarty, Frank Woerner, Paul Kaplan, Bonnie Milner, bagpiper to the stars, Larry Cole, Brian Brooks and yours truly. Dan and Brian, along with guitarist Caesar Pacifici, and fiddler Tony DeMarco, formed a band called The Flying Cloud. It was a superb band, they made an excellent CD for Adelphi Records. They eventually broke up and went their own ways. Now, forty years later, Brian and Caesar have got together to produce an outstanding CD called “In Good Company”, with celebrity guest artists. Irish fiddle great, Kevin Burke, the lucky husband of Cindy Kallet, Grey Larsen, Tony DeMarco, and Tony Fitzgibbon. The brilliance of the playing, and the arrangements, are beyond my poor abilities to describe, but a lot of ground is covered. Traditional Irish, to Blues, and new songs by Brian, backed up by his daughters no less. If you remember the music from those magic Wednesday nights, you will enjoy this CD. It is terrific.” - David Jones

— FaceBook

IN GOOD COMPANY - This is a debut album with twelve tracks (playtime just over 60 minutes. The cover describes the content as Traditional Irish, Blues and Original Music. These life-time friends were originally members of the New York band ‘The Flying Cloud’ (Adelphi Records), and they toured extensively across the U.S.A. The first track ‘Morning Dew’ begins with a strong rhythm on electric guitar and the fiddle comes slowly in as the pace of the music increases and then they ‘are really jamming.’ In Paddy Fahy’s Reel, I love the way that the music builds. But why am I singling out tracks? They are all good! Progressing through the tracks is easy on the ear. Caesar and Brian have a musical empathy that comes over in their music. They take simple initial musical statements and weave them into interesting melodies. The music created has a good ambience and is pleasant listening. Much of it has a strong beat and rhythm that owes much to Irish / Scottish music. There is a clever musicianship in this CD. but it isn’t brash or showy. Marmite, you either love or detest but music can grow on you with further listening. This CD is definitely the growing-on-you type. Treat yourself to a copy today.”

— Unicorn Magazine - Issue 144

IN GOOD COMPANY - To be brutally honest, it's wonderful! Thank you! I'll really enjoy playing it. Brian and family sing beautifully.” - Madonna Starr, NYC
IN GOOD COMPANY - I want to tell you how much I enjoyed “In Good Company”. The playing is superb, the tunes are totally engaging and the production, mixing & mastering are top-notch. The mix of traditional Irish, rocky blues and folk really works. Congrats to you, Brian and all the musicians and singers who contributed to this fine project.” - John Hartmann, NYC
IN GOOD COMPANY - Wow, I just listened to your album while driving the backroads… Beautiful! Between the Wars KILLED me! Nice work.” - Brian Winterman, NYC