‘Widdershins’ by Sarah-Jane Summers & Juhani Silvola - a benchmark album of cutting-edge folk music

(September 13, 2016)

There’s a mesmerising edge to ‘Widdershins’ the latest album from Sarah-Jane Summers & Juhani Silvola, due for release on 12 October. The interplay between these two outstanding musicians is spellbinding and compelling, from the Widdershins Summers and Silvolamoment ‘Widdershins’ opens you’re held tight in its hypnotic embrace. The intensity and empathy these two exhibit in their playing is evidenced by the fact that each track was recorded live in the same room and is presented completely unedited.

There’s explorative improvisation, magnetic concentration and symbiotic involvement working through both musicians that creates an album filled with a spectrum of musical emotion. There’s darkness and foreboding mixed with explosions of joy and moments of reflection ... the ominous ‘Sydänyö’ leads into the ebullient ‘Widdershins’ through the enveloping ‘A’Cheapach na Fásach’ to the spritely ‘Silver Spring Reel’ and ‘Målselv Reel’.

Listening to Summers’ touch on the fiddle and Silvola’s feel for the guitar as they build tunes that twist, intertwine and fuse is nothing short of hearing alchemy at work. ‘Widdershins’ has to become a benchmark album of cutting-edge folk music.

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Review: Tim Carroll

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