Rosedale is a valley in North Yorkshire, famous, among other things, for its mining past in the Victorian Era. The project Words of a Fiddler’s Daughter, namely Adam Summerhayes on fiddle, Murray Grainger on accordion and Jessie Summerhayes with her poems, came back to this stunning and multi-faceted location to record Ironstone Tales, an eight track album combining improvised music and spoken word.
On the substrate of interweaving fiddle and accordion lines, Jessie’s words effortlessly portray the nature and the contrasts of a land marked by human exploitation, and yet now serene, green and characterised by a stunning sense of beauty. Her ability to wisely interlace natural images, true tales of life in the iron mines, elements of folklore and mythology and personal memories of her childhood spent in that area makes everything more vivid and evocative.
From the opening Where the Lightning Goes to Die to the uplifting final track Be What, passing through the many twists and turns of Asleep in my Hat and the surprising and romantic A Beauty Unplanned, the trio has crafted something unique, a patchwork of images of Rosedale that is, at the same time, a highly personal and very relatable fresco of this corner of Britain. The telepathic interplay between the fiddler and the accordionist, already well-known to anyone who has come across The Ciderhouse Rebellion, is not only an accompaniment for the spoken word, but a voice in its own right, a major contribution to the overall result with suggestive harmonies and well-calibrated climaxes.
Ironstone Tales is an immersive musical experience that needs more than one listen to catch all the tiny details that lie beneath the surface, and one of the most spellbinding works of 2022.Michele Mele
Released on 1 July 2022
1. Where Lightning Goes to Die
2. A Beauty Unplanned
3. When the Moor Walks
4. Asleep in my Hat
7. The Knot that is Never Untied
8. Be What