Cider with….

Cider with…. is a new series of collaborations between The Ciderhouse Rebellion and some of the most exciting and brilliant singers on the folk circuit.


Kirsty Merryn – Cider with Kirsty
Molly Donnery – Cider with Molly
Jessie Summerhayes – Cider with Jessie

Cider with… Kirsty
The Ciderhouse Rebellion with Kirsty Merryn

ALBUM RELEASE – The Devil’s On The Mast (June 2 2023)
LISTEN to Little Jimmy Murphy

“How is it that we, in our long history, denigrate and ignore so many of the folk who are the lifeblood of our society?” – sleeve notes from debut album  The Devil’s On The Mast

Between stories of wreckers and smugglers, midwives and hedge-witches, snake-catchers and nightmen, the new trio Cider With Kirsty reveal the hidden lives that were the historic heartbeat of the country.  Originally meeting through folk legends Show Of Hands, The Ciderhouse Rebellion found that their create seascapes and laments, prayers and evocations danced perfectly with Merryn’s poignant and angelic vocals. Their prolific original songwriting led to an incredible album The Devil’s On The Mast (due for release in May of this year) recorded over a winter’s week in the depths of the Yorkshire moors.
The Ciderhouse Rebellion have cooked up a bit of a storm in just three years with five albums, multiple FATEA awards and sensational live sets across the country – including at The Manchester Folk Festival.  Known for creating music through improvisation and instinct, honed over years of working at the highest level and a lifetime of musical study, they continue to produce prolifically and keep audiences enthralled and fully engaged. Meanwhile, the huge talent of Kirsty Merryn – celebrated for many years as a solo performer and songwriter (‘her voice a treat for the soul’ – The Guardian ☆☆☆☆), brought her own virtuoso skills and experience to the project. The end result is a dynamic, enrapturing set of uniquely magical songs.

“A…haunting album of emotional and musical depth that underscores both Merryn’s consummate musical craftsmanship and her articulacy of the heart” – KLOF Mag


Cider with Molly.
The Ciderhouse Rebellion with stellar Irish singer Molly Donnery (of The Haar)

“They they cast their evocative magic over songs from the tradition, from the misty beauties of Mo Bhuachaillín Donn to the joyous race of Murphy’s Running Dog. This is intimate stuff, drawing listeners into the very heart of the music.”

Molly Donnery vocal
Adam Summerhayes fiddle
Murray Grainger accordion

Recorded in just two days during a break while on tour with the Irish singer Molly Donnery, who collaborates with the duo in The Haar (alongside bodhrán player Cormac Byrne). This partnership was also the result of chance meeting – this time in a pub in Galway when Summerhayes and Byrne heard Donnery singing unaccompanied during a session. A Little Bit Slanted is a collection of Donnery’s favourite Irish songs from her childhood, accompanied by Summerhayes and Grainger.
“Shall we do a little tour, then?” remarked Adam. Molly responded “Vibes. I was thinking of doing some songs I haven’t done in a while, from when I was a kid?”. “Cool. Nice” affirmed Murray and the project was then in motion, almost effortlessly.

Their intention to capture some of the joy and magic they had been feeling during their live sets resulted in this collection of traditional songs, performed in entirely new ways.

It proved to be much more than simply looking back, with Molly finding catharsis singing songs from her childhood in Gaelic and English – now honoured by the spontaneous musical worlds conjured by Adam Summerhayes and Murray Grainger.  For Molly these are also the songs through which she developed her craft and then won the All-Ireland Scór na nÓg with – so there’s a real passion at play here.
As Grainger says: “Molly is ridiculously good.” Singing in English and Irish Gaelic, she brings a wonderfully contemporary timbre to these traditional songs. “She is such a capable and imaginative singer,” adds Summerhayes. “In the same way as we react to her, she absolutely reacts to us. So if we’ve suddenly taken a song in a different direction, she will absolutely go with it without a pause. I don’t know any other singer who’s quite as flexible.”
The album is available for preorder on Bandcamp:


Cider with Jessie
The Ciderhouse Rebellion with poet Jessie Summerhayes
NEW ALBUM Tales Of Colonsay out 7 June 2024 

A gift for a parent, changing landscapes and seascapes, skeletal Cetacean remains and a new journey in spoken word inspire the latest work from Cider With Jessie, aka The Ciderhouse Rebellion with Jessie Summerhayes.

Both Summerhayes and Grainger have been inspired by the landscapes of their surroundings in the past. Tales of Colonsay is their fourth collaboration with Summerhayes’ daughter Jessie – who is an award-winning poet and spoken-word artist – and the second in which a very specific landscape serves as the creative inspiration (the first being Ironstone Tales and the North York Moors).

In this case the basis of the album is a collection of poetry Jessie wrote for her father’s birthday, inspired by one particular journey to and on the Inner Hebridean island of Colonsay. 11 tracks drawn from the landscape itself, tracking her movements from Oban, across the sea and then along the pristine Atlantic shoreline on Colonsay, culminating in the searing, blow-away track that is Hangman’s Rock.

There’s an intense reciprocity between the trio, even though they recorded the album in three separate rooms, with Jessie reciting the poems in one, while Grainger and Summerhayes improvised, weaving everything together to create an intricate and beautiful piece of work. “The words are the music and the music is the words and it’s an incredible inter-relationship of poetry to music that you don’t often come across,” says Grainger.

These poems are many things, a loving gift, a celebration of the love for a place, an echo of childhood wonder, a terrified vision of the wormholes in reality that lead  only to decay and death, a clear-eyed view of the horror that human emotion can bring – a promise of nature’s revolution against our crimes … but, above all, they are heartbreakingly beautiful.

Jessie explains “these poems arose from movement, the first written on the ferry-crossing as a beloved and much visited island crept closer, the rest walking along the shoreline. The stories stepped out from the shifting landscape around me: gannets fishing in a stormy sea, tormentil on grassy slopes, or a washed-up whale’s whitening bones. Each poem is very much an expression of a particular moment in a particular space — they do not tell the tale of Colonsay’s coastline, they tell the tales it told me one week in July.”

Although organically created, with the music being written spontaneously, the album is structured from the original passage towards the island, then around and within it. Jessie continues “I arranged the poems into an order — starting with the ferry and Queen’s Bay, travelling northwards and eventually circling back around to the south-east coast. As I read the poems, the improvised music then continued the chain of storytelling, drawing on the descriptions and feelings caught in the poetry — as we performed together, the conversation continued, and that week in July was given another voice”

The Ciderhouse Rebellion’s Adam Summerhayes and Murray Grainger are known for their profound ability to create music spontaneously, with no prior planning nor conscious thought. It’s something they have been mastering for some years now, and are becoming increasingly recognised for. The album, with entirely improvised instrumentation and released on two CDs, continues their unique heritage and is their second album with the award-winning poet, whose work has been featured on BBC Radio 4.

Tales of Colonsay will be released as a double CD along with a book featuring Jessie’s poems and illustrations on all platforms on 7th June HERE