The Thunder Mutters podcast

The Thunder Mutters

Becky Dellow/Adam Horovitz

The Thunder Mutters is a podcast in love with music, and with the music of words. Presented fortnightly by poet Adam Horovitz and fiddle player Becky Dellow, it takes its name from the poem by John Clare. We will be exploring the connections between music and poetry, concentrating for the first year of the podcast on Clare’s 'The Shepherd’s Calendar' and on the tunes Clare gathered. Every month, we will bring you the appropriate section of the Calendar interspersed with relevant tunes that Clare himself collected and likely played. We will be discussing the provenance of the tunes and leavening the academic with a healthy dose of poetry and music in performance. In the weeks in between, we will present shorter shows exploring the works of the Romantic poets and others from the 18th and 19th centuries, again always interweaving tunes that the poets themselves might have heard or played amongst the poems and conversation. Having said that we will be presenting poets and tunes from the 18th and 19th centuries, it is very much our intention to also invite living poets and musicians to respond to the work of the poems and tunes we present. We believe that music and poetry are perhaps the best ways of holding an on-going conversation with our ancestors and our descendants, and are keen to find ways of furthering that conversation through The Thunder Mutters. We hope that you enjoy this podcast. If you do, we hope you might be inspired to subscribe and contribute to our Patreon in some small way, to help mitigate the costs of producing the show, ( and that you will consider following us on Facebook ( and/or Twitter ( If you enjoy the shows, we’d love to hear from you. Becky Dellow is an experienced and versatile fiddle player who fuses fiddle traditions from around the British Isles. “The tradition of fiddle playing in my family goes back at least five generations,” says Becky, “to my great great grandfather Thomas Hampton, a fiddle player from Hereford. It was his hand-written tune manuscript book that inspired my PhD research under the supervision of trad singer and academic, Dr Fay Hield.” Since completing her PhD, Dr. Dellow has continued to carry out tune research, contributing to academic journals and conferences, and uses the research to develop her performance as a folk musician. Adam Horovitz is a poet, editor and performer. His first collection of poetry, Turning, was published in 2011 and his most recent book, The Soil Never Sleeps, explores the farmlands of Britain 200 years on from Clare, who was a strong influence on the book. He has collaborated numerous times with musicians, and has presented two shows with Becky. The first was for the Laurie Lee centenary. “I asked Becky because Laurie was a fiddle player as well as a poet,” he says, “not knowing at the time that her grandfather, Charles Hampton played in a band with Laurie in the late 1920s. It was perfect synchronicity, and that surprise has led to The Thunder Mutters.”

18 Episodes