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Welcome to the webpage of the World Music band Rowan. We're glad you're here! Stick around for a bit and check us out. We play music of the Celtic lands for the most part, but if we hear a good Ostrogoth or Roma tune, we'll learn it! Mainly, we just like to have fun playing good music wherever it's from -- including our own Muse (Rowania, Goddess of People Who Are Somewhat Odd But Don't Care).

Rowan is a Celtic and World Music trio based in Lawrence, KS, USA. Our music is an eclectic blend of styles from the various Celtic lands as well as other European folk styles. It transcends genres as the listener is taken on a journey through not only a topography of cultural expressions but on a spiritual journey through time as well.

From a 17th century English Faire to an 18th century Jacobite uprising to the American Civil War to 20th century Belfast, our music evokes what human beings share down through the ages and across borders. Jigs and reels follow poignant ballads. Anti-war sentiment follows praise to those who are sent to fight. Songs of modern disconnection from the Earth follow songs of immigration.

The members of Rowan have traveled widely, from the urban jungles to the High Plains to lofty mountain peaks to deep in the southern forests of North America; from the wilds of Newfoundland to Mexico to Alaska; from Australia to Afghanistan to North Africa; from Ireland to Britain to France. While our music reflects our roots in the deep spiritual resonance of the Celtic lands, we acknowledge, praise, and validate all folk music from all lands in all periods. The glory of human expression in its everyday form is what Rowan is committed to -- and we try to reflect that in all our music. We're in our 11th year of performing throughout the North American Midwest for fans of all ages, at festivals, fairs, coffeehouses, schools, pubs, and beyond.

Rowan is on the Kansas Arts Commission Touring Program as well as the Heartland Arts Fund regional artist catalog. We have performed with numerous world-renowned Celtic artists such as "Patrick Street" and "The House Band." Twice we have been featured on the nationally syndicated radio program "River City Folk," hosted by Tom May and produced through WFMT in Chicago. We also have a Celtic music program that we take into schools and we've been known to play at weddings, fundraisers, parties -- pretty much anywhere that upbeat music is needed. Feel free to contact us anytime -- meanwhile check out our music and our concert schedule. Thanks for dropping by!

Here's a handful of reviews we've picked up along the way:

"A potent mixture of expertise gleaned from traditional Irish and Scottish roots and personalised reflections and circumstances . . . Rowan's collective gift is to stamp their own personalities on traditional music emerging with a tight powerful group sound. A class U.S. Celtic act with a solid grasp of traditional dynamics." John O'Regan, Folkroots magazine

"They've put thought and care into the playing and arranging of their tunes . . . Dirty Linen Folk and World Music Magazine

"Rowan is an adventurous trio . . . strong material and clever arrangements bring out the best in the varied sounds . . . Rowan has a tightness and warmth in their approach to the music . . . 'Tales Through Time' is a very well-produced Celtic album presenting a grand selection of highly enjoyable music." Jamie O'Brien, "Irish Edition Magazine"

"Rowan is a breath of fresh air. The blend of the harmonies with or without the instruments caused the entire audience to appreciate the subtleties and the nuance of these superb artists. We, and all that heard them, can hardly wait to have them back." Steve Schell, PaperMoon Attractions, Eureka Springs, AR

"On a snowy night, deep in the heart of winter, the audience at the Shirley Opera House/Aberdeen Steakhouse in Atwood, KS had their souls warmed by the flame of Rowan. Their music stirs a bit of Irish in us all; a cultural remembrance of moors and drums, pipes and smoking fires. This Celtic band is versatile, rich in diverse styles and highly entertaining. We were most priviledged to experience this event and look forward with anticipation for their next visit to our corner of Kansas." Alice Hill, Shirley Opera House - Aberdeen Steakhouse, Atwood, KS

"On behalf of our school, thank you so very much for performing for us! Our entire student body and staff enjoyed the program immensely . . . your music also spurred interest in historical events as well . . . You are a very diverse group -- multi-talented musicians with the ability to play a variety of instruments. Your vocals were crystal clear . . ." Denise Wittman, Quinter, Kansas Public Schools

"The craic was tremendous as the music of Rowan rang through a packed Auld Pavilion at the Lincoln Irish Dancer's 11th Annual Spring Ceili in Lincoln NE. Rowan's lively jigs, driving reels, and smooth waltzes kept well over 120 dancers moving and swaying all night. As if that wasn't enough, the great vocals, and beautiful harmonies in their songs and ballads kept us happily listening and smiling, as we refreshed ourselves between dances, and socialized with friends. Our caller LuAnne Anderson could not say enough about the dancers and about Rowan as they provided the perfect accompaniment for all of the ceili dances. It was a magical evening filled with good ol' Irish spirit." Betty Bloomquist, Lincoln (NE) Irish Dancers

And a review of our new CD:
Rowan: Tales Through Time
Tales Through Time is Rowan's 3rd and most polished recording yet with tasty tunes and great engineering. It is musically varied and good throughout from the European songs of the first cut through the powerful poetry of the ballads and the toe tapping fun of the instrumental sets. Rowan had definitely grown up and graduated from its Celtic hedge school roots to a genuine world and roots feel in keeping with the directions in current acoustic music. The familiar energy of Doug Harvey and Lance Zed as the original Rowan Brothers is there in force and flair, finer than ever. Lance's precision on fiddle and concertina is the heartbeat and lilt of this great recording. Marianne Payette Carter balances the group with her beautiful vocals and harmonies in any language and her way with the instruments whether you are listening to her orchestral string mastery or her punchy percussion. The tune sets are arranged and performed with zest, a spirit of inventive fun, and a clarity which is seldom heard from Irish style bands. The presentations of the traditional songs holds the power these great ballads merit and adds a sense of the new in the twists of old titles and updating the fine history with some additional heartfelt poetry and lyrics for our more modern times. I am sure Tomas Moore would approve of Doug's keeping his lyrics and ideas alive and accessible to new generations and modern trials, still carried by the haunting strains of the old Moreen. In Tales Through Time, Rowan achieves that status of maturity and musicianship that only time and dedication can offer. They have definitely entered the top tier of American acoustic roots and folk groups and as such promise many more years of great entertainment and carrying heart to the people.
Dr. Tark Hamilton
Deep Cove Folk and British Columbia Folklore Society, August 9, 2007

If you'd like a copy, you can send a check for $15.00 to:
P.O. Box 442314
Lawrence, KS 66044
You can hear sound clips and buy with plastic at our CDBaby site.

Presskit, booking, and school information:

Band bios
Bring us to your school! We're fun!
Future and Past Performances
Rowan photo album