The Ciderhouse Rebellion - And Even the Sheep Shall Dance & Tales of Colonsay

2024 studio album

And Even the Sheep Shall Dance & Tales of Colonsay - The Ciderhouse Rebellion

the bright young folk review

After the success of their early work, particularly their Genius Loci project, the Ciderhouse Rebellion, namely fiddler Adam Summerhayes and accordionist Murray Grainger, are back with a double release. The two albums, released on the same day, may have different concepts, but they are both conceived in the trademark style of the duo.

The first album And Even the Sheep Shall Dance, accompanied by the eponymous graphic novel, is named after a biblical verse and, as even the tracklist suggests, is the duo’s response to the current state of the world. It was recorded in the space of 24 hours; as usual, they improvise thanks to the exceptional and almost telepathic interplay they have developed. Every note is decided on the spot with no other inspiration than the moment itself.

The second album Tales of Colonsay was penned in collaboration with multi-awarded poet and spoken word artist Jessie Summerhayes after a trip to one of the most famous islands in the Hebrides. In this double CD, words and music combine to portray vivid images of the area, with its flora, fauna, myths and legends.

The duo’s ability to reproduce stories, atmospheres and landscapes, sometimes with the juxtaposed use of spoken word, is not a new thing. But the real surprise of these releases is that they tested their interplay even on more fast paced patterns and tunes, confirming their reputation of masters of impressionistic folk music.

Virtuoso playing has always been one of the most distinctive traits of their musicianship, but the level of dexterity they display here is truly remarkable. In fact, more than one listen of these works is needed to grasp all the subtle ornaments and the tiny embellishments scattered around these improvised themes.

A special mention goes to the last track in Tales on Colonsay, which spans the whole length of the second CD this album is divided into: The Hangman’s Rock is a poignant 25 minute long instrumental and spoken word suite narrating the dark and intriguing legend associated with a small rock island between Colonsay and Oronsay.

At times cheerful, sometimes dramatic, but always eloquent, the new music the Ciderhouse Rebellion have gifted to us is the chance for a varied and immersive musical experience, a world away from the troubles on the global stage.

Michele Mele

Released on CD and digitally 7 June 2024

And Even the Sheep Shall Dance

1. As We Party Oblivious
2. Trees Shall Fall
3. And We Shall Float Like Sheep
4. Until the Rabbit Warriors Dance
5. And the Last Pineapple Goes
6. Whilst Islands Shrink
7. And We Party on Rafts of Hope
8. To Storm the Cucumber Castle
9. And Dance in the Ashes

Tales of Colonsay

1. Arrival to a Grey Day
2. Two Twisted Birches and the Body
3. At Kiloran: Mists to Sun
4. Uragaig Set
5. The Birds’ Cliffs
6. They Sit (The Pebble Sorter and the Boggy Cave)
7. Red Stripes and Razor Clams
8. Dreams in the Islands of Green
9. A Damp Evening
10. Gannet Point
11. Hangman’s Rock

The Ciderhouse Rebellion discography