The Ciderhouse Rebellion & Kirsty Merryn - The Devil’s On The Mast

2023 studio album

The Devil’s On The Mast - The Ciderhouse Rebellion & Kirsty Merryn

the bright young folk review

Everyone who has come across the music of The Ciderhouse Rebellion, namely fiddler Adam Summerhayes and accordionist Murray Grainger, is familiar with their unique way of making music. This time they have teamed up with singer-songwriter Kirsty Merryn to create The Devil’s on the Mast, an album that expands their musical vision to a wider horizon.

Starting from the well-calibrated interplay between the two instrumentalists, who usually record improvised music on the spot, the trio have taken another bold step forward. Summerhayes and Merryn wrote all the lyrics for all the tracks, then they recorded them in separate rooms, connected by headphones. The songs are almost all first takes; not only the first time that they were recorded, but the first time they were played.

The telepathic interplay of Grainger and Summerhayes, and Merryn’s renowned crystal-clear voice combine smoothly to give life to these eleven inspiring and diverse stories. The overall result is even more remarkable given the fact there were no rehearsals before they were recorded and that they are the result of pure musical talent and true musicianship.

The Devil’s on the Mast manages to do something beautiful and unique, showing a piece of art in the exact moment it is created. Thus the dream of 19th century impressionistic painters becomes real thanks to three British musicians from the 21st century. Who would have guessed?

Michele Mele

Released on 2 June 2023 on CD and digitally. Produced and mixed by Murray Grainger.

1. Knock Four Times
2. Belladonna
3. Brusher Mills
4. The Ballad of Agnes Sampson
5. The Prayer of Agnes Sampson
6. The Thurifers
7. Becalmed
8. The Men I Call My Own
9. The Queen and the Knightman
10. No Grass Grows on His Grave
11. The Song of the Old Mother

The Ciderhouse Rebellion & Kirsty Merryn discography