Rowan Cunningham Band

Rowan Cunningham Band

 West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
BandAmericanaBluegrass

The Rowan Brothers, Chris and Lorin, and Sue Cunningham have created a sound which is so full and vibrant that it is hard to believe they are only three musicians. Chris and Lorin’s incomparable sibling harmonies are reinforced by “sister” Sue’s vocals and are spiced up by her dazzling fiddle work.

Biography

The Rowan Brothers, Chris and Lorin, and Sue Cunningham recently joined forces to create a fiery musical presentation for the Americana music scene. The trio, working with guitars, mandolin and fiddle are presenting their new songs in stunning three-part harmony with expert instrumental accompaniment.

The Rowan Cunningham Band first performed together at Hickory Fest in August 2008 and immediately they knew that were onto something special. They next played the Magnolia Fest in Live Oak, FL which opened the door for performances at Suwannee Springfest, Gamble Rogers Festival, Huntington Folk Festival, Levon Helms Ramble’ and other notable venues.

Chris and Lorin’s incomparable sibling harmonies are joined by Sue’s vocals and all are spiced up by her dazzling fiddle work which encompasses many different styles. All three are accomplished songwriters and their tunes pulse with passion. They have created a sound which is so full and vibrant that it is hard to believe there are only three musicians on the stage.

Chris and Lorin Rowan were born and raised near Boston, MA where their brother Peter was already making a name for himself in Earth Opera. All three brothers played in folk, bluegrass and pop bands. In the early ‘70s, Chris and Lorin got hooked up with aspiring producer and instrumental wizard David Grisman. Before long, Chris and Lorin moved to “where it was happening” San Francisco, and they still reside there today.

Throughout the years Chris and Lorin and occasionally Peter have continued to play together. In 1999 they released the bluegrass-based Tree On The Hill (Sugar Hill Records) and in 2003 Crazy People (Evangeline). Both Chris and Lorin have released independent albums and have various side music projects.

Several of the Rowans songs have been recorded by national artists ranging from Jefferson Starship to most recently, the title track of country artist Ricky Skaggs' Grammy Award winning CD, "Soldier of the Cross", written by Lorin.

The Rowans have appeared at the Kerrville Folk Fest, TX and Telluride Music Festival, toured extensively as The Rowan Brothers in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. They’ve performed on shows with Shawn Colvin, James Taylor, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Randy Travis, Alison Krauss, Nanci Griffith and others, as well as featured artists on Prairie Home Companion. They recently performed as members of Phil Lesh & The Hepcats’ with Lorin on lead guitar & vocals and Chris on acoustic rhythm guitar & vocals.

Sue Cunningham is a leader in the grass roots bluegrass and acoustic music movement. She is a three-time Florida Bluegrass Fiddle Champion; the founder and producer of the Hickory Fest – bringing top-notch international musicians to a rural area of north central Pennsylvania for the past nine years; she has taught fiddle and bluegrass music and mentored many young players.

Unique among bluegrass musicians, Sue holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University as well as degrees from Cornell University and MIT. With over thirty years of performing internationally, she has achieved an expert level of musicianship – and has continually strived to bring a high integrity and positive image to folk and acoustic music.

Sue was raised in a musical family and has been involved with music since she was five years old. Her family was voted as the Most Musical Family of the Year (1973) and they all performed together on the To Tell The Truth game show the following year.

Through her performances and recordings with the international touring band Hickory Project (she founded the group) and others, combined with her unique education in classical music, Sue has gained national recognition as a fiddler. With Hickory Project, she produced 6 CDs in 6 years, all containing original material. She completed two tours of Australia, four tours in Europe, performed in Ireland on numerous occasions, and all over the US.

In addition to performances, her teaching and workshop credits include the Philadelphia Folk Festival, RockyGrass Academy, Walnut Valley Festival (Winfield, KS), Winterhawk, Port Fairy Folk Festival (Australia), Augusta Heritage (Elkins, WV) Bluegrass Week, and many others. Sue has performed with Vassar Clements many times and their twin fiddles delighted audiences at festivals, and concerts around the country. In fact, she and Vassar were working together to produce a twin-fiddle instructional video just before he passed away in 2005.

She is currently sought after for stage appearances and just recently performed on fiddle with Peter Rowan, Jim Lauderdale, Verlon Thompson, Shawn Camp, and Joe Craven, in each of their solo acts at Suwannee Springfest this year, and has sat in with many bands including Leftover Salmon and John Cowan Band, and recently played fiddle on Marty Balin’s (Jefferson Airplane / Jefferson Starship) new CD, Blue Highway.

Discography

Rowan Cunningham Band - self-titled CD - 2010

The Rowan Brothers:
Now & Then
Crazy People
Sibling Rivalry
Rowan Brothers
The Rowans

Lorin Rowan:
My Father's Son
Pathways
Lorin Rowan Trio
Rebel Sons

Sue Cunningham:
Little Fields

Sue Cunningham (with Hickory Project):
Travelin' On
Big Darby
LIVE (DVD)
Polaris
Movin' On Up!
Icy Roads

Set List

Original songs mixed with new arrangements of some standards, including a Beatles "Mash-up"