Words of a Fiddler’s Daughter – Rúnian

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson

An engaging collaboration between the celebrated musical duo The Ciderhouse Rebellion and the young poet Jessie Summerhayes, where words and music complement one another over eight powerful readings, underpinned by some highly expressive playing courtesy of both Adam Summerhayes (Jessie’s dad) on fiddle and Murray Grainger on accordion, while Jessie reveals her poems in an assured and often passionate manner.  Adam and Murray appear to perform as if scoring a film soundtrack, each note – or each series of notes – improvised to reflect what’s happening on screen, or in this case, what’s happening in the narrative of each poem.  

Borrowing an Anglo-Saxon word for ‘whisper’ for the album title, which is also the title of Jessie’s book of poems that the piece is based upon, Rúnian is a journey into the often mystical, mysterious and sometimes mythical world of yesterday, set around the folklore of Jessie’s own locale, of Saxons bashing Normans, breaking bones and standing stones, serpents and creeping wolves, fear and loathing in the North East, with the Venerable Bede taking note, and with a touch of Norse mythology intertwined.  At times the edge of the seat excitement is tangible, the fiddle, accordion and voice working in symbiotic rapture.  The Ciderhouse Rebellion whispers on..