Album Review: Emi Ferguson and Ruckus

Flutist Emi Ferguson has released her new album Fly The Coop accompanied by the early music band Ruckus. The press release describes the album as: “Taking Bach out of the museum and infusing it with equal parts tradition, funk, whimsy and fun…..a wild romp through some of Bach’s most playful and transcendent works.”

The album features 3 of Bach’s flute Sonatas – E Minor, E Major, and C Major in new arrangements and also new arrangements of Bach’s keyboard preludes, including selections from the Well Tempered Clavier and rarely performed movements from keyboard suites.  The arrangements are imaginative and interesting, shedding new light on the rhythms and harmonies of the master, Bach!  As you listen to the album you will start to hear a new approach to this older music, as the accompaniments take off into American jazz and roots music, surprising you with how well these rhythms and textures fit with the traditional sounds of Bach.  Take for example the Siciliano movement of the E Major Sonata – where the rhythm takes off and explores some crazy dance rhythms that would certainly have been considered risqué by a Baroque audience and by a contemporary audience as well.

The performances are beautiful and exciting; Ferguson is an amazing Baroque flutist and the members of Ruckus are equally impressive, creative, precise, and rhythmic. Her Baroque style is perfect, and her sound and intonation excellent, as is her understanding of the musical intentions of the composer.  Ms. Ferguson is one of the most innovative artists of our time and her performances make one pay attention and feel excited about all the possibilities still available for classical performers today.

Check out the original Fly the Coop website for more information and to hear the music.


--Barbara Siesel














Emi Ferguson- Baroque Flute


Clay Zeller-Townson, baroque bassoon

Shirley Hunt, baroque Cello and viola da gamba

Doug Balliett, viola da gamba

Evan Premo,  baroque bass

Paul Holmes Morton, theorbo, baroque quitar and banjo

Adam Cockerham, theorbo and baroque guitar

Elliot Figg, harpsichord and organ