The Rowan Brothers

The Rowan Brothers

 San Francisco, California, USA
DuoRockClassic Rock

The Rowan Brothers offer a versatile and exciting mixture of Americana roots, rock, country, bluegrass, with modern day Everly Brothers style sibling harmony. CO. Lorin's songs have been recorded by national artists ranging from Marry Balin/ Jefferson Airplane(Starship) to the title track "Soldier of The Cross" of country artist Ricky Skaggs' Grammy winning CD. The brothers often play in Marin County at Phil Lesh's Terrapin Crossroads, with Phil sitting in on different occasions.


Artist Information

Chris and Lorin Rowan were born and raised outside Boston, 20 miles West as the crow fles, in Wayland, Massachusetts along with  their older  brother Peter, who would play  with Bill Monroe and later on with Jerry Garcia and David Grisman in Old And In The Way. All three brothers played in folk, bluegrass and pop bands. In the early 70s, Chris and Lorin got hooked up with aspiring producer David Grisman. Before long, Chris and Lorin along with Grisman moved to where it was happening San Francisco, and they still reside there today. One of the brothers first gigs in the Bay Area was opening for the Grateful Dead at the closing of the Fillmore West in 1971. Shortly thereafter Clive Davis (Columbia Records) and David Geffen (Asylum) got into a bidding war for the talented singer/songwriters. Davis won out and the band produced the lavish and much-neglected The Rowans Brothers album on Columbia (1972), (reissued in 2003 on Evangeline Recorded Works) which was produced by Grisman under the name of David Diadem. Musicians appearing on the album included drum legend Jim Keltner, Grisman, and the Grateful Deads Jerry Garcia and Bill Kreutzmann. Not long after the release of the album Davis got canned from the label and the Rowans were left without support. A planned second album never materialized.

David Geffen came to the rescue and signed the brothers (now with Peter as part of the group) to Asylum. With Peter in tow they changed their moniker to simply The Rowans. They recorded three albums; The Rowans (1976) (reissued on CD by Collectors Music Choice in 2003) Sibling Rivalry (1977) and Jubilation (1978). The two later albums have also just been reissued by Collectors Music Choice in 2003, combined on one CD. The albums sold moderately well with a couple of singles breaking the top 100. Peter eventually went back to his bluegrass roots and Chris and Lorin continued for a while as The Rowans before venturing into some different musical areas. Throughout the years Chris and Lorin and occasionally Peter have continued to play as The Rowans periodically. 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 also released independent albums and have various side music projects.

Now, Chris and Lorin have come full circle with the release of their new album Now and Then (BOS Music). The two-CD set contains 34 genre-jumping tracks. Disc one features seventeen newly recorded songs that are laced with tight harmonies, haunting melodies and underscored by crisp guitar, mandolin and steel guitar picking. They offer a versatile and exciting mixture of bluegrass-flavored folk and Everly Brothers style rock and country. Contrasting the new tracks are seventeen vintage cuts (all previously unreleased in the US and making their debut on CD). These tracks date from the duos early 70s pop-rock forays with David Grisman. The album features an impressive cast of backing players including: Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, Richard Greene, Jim Keltner, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Hal Blaine, Mookie Siegel, Barry Sless, and many more..   

   Headliners at major festivals include Suwannee Music & Magnolia Fest,FL; Falcon Ridge. NY, Kerrville Folk Fest TX;. Telluride, Lorin & Chris recent concert  tours have included stops at  legdendary Levon Helm's (The Band) Midnight Ramble studio concert series in Woodstock and Suwannee Music Fest, Kerrville Music Festival,Hickory Fest Festival and extensive touring in UK, Ireland, Europe, and Japan..


Circle of Friends

Written By: Lorin Rowan

Down where the old cars are left to rust
where the swallows dip over the river at dusk
me and my buddies throwin' stones,
braggin' to each other how we'll never go home,
our little circle of friends.
Trouble had a way of trackin' us down,
sometimes it found us on the wrong side of town,
we survived only because
we stood by eacjh other
that's the way it was,
in our circle of friends.
And a circle of friends
is a ring of trust,
it can never break,
it can never rust,
it's made of the dreams
we shared back when
all we had
was our circle of friends.
Now,memories last forever,
don't need more that,
those days are behind us
and they'll never come back.
I see my ol' buddies when I drive through town,
I put my foot on the break and roll my window down,
and I wave
to my circle of friends.
And a circle of friends
is a ring of trust
it can never break
it can never rust.
It's made of the dreams
we shared back when
all we had
was our circle of friends,
a ring of trust,it can never break,
it can never rust,
made of the dreams
we shared back when
all we had
was our circle of friends
and all we have
is our circle of friends.
Down where the old cars are left to rust
where the swallows dip over the river at dusk
a few young kids
thrownin' stones
braggin' to each other
how they'll never go home...

Home Again For Christmas

Written By: Lorin Rowan

Mama calls to me from the hearthside
Daddy’s still outside choppin’ wood
Grandma’s cooking pies in the kitchen
everyone is feelin’ good.
The place will soon be buzzin’
filled with first and second cousins
stringin’ popcorn and hangin’ stockings
you can feel the joy in the neighborhood.

‘Cause it’s Christmastime in the country
it’s good to be back home again
I’ve been gone, been gone so long
it’s good to be back home again for Christmas
it’s good to be home again.

The snow is gently fallin’
while the fire’s slowly burnin’
hear the sound of sleighbells ringin’
children bringin’ gifts for everyone.
Chorus repeat
So meet me for a sleighride
where fields of snowwhite glisten
take some time for reminiscin’
as we glide along on a snow covered road.
Chorus repeat
It’s good to be back home again, it’s good to be back home
it’s good to be back home again for Christmas


1972 Rowan Brothers Chris & Lorin / Columbia Records. Produced by David Diadem Grisman. Musicians include Jerry Garcia (steel guitar), Bill Kreuztman (drums), Grisman (madolin, piano), Jim Keltner (drums), Buddy Emmonds (steel guitar), Bill Elliott (piano.organ), BillyWolf ( recording engineer, bass ), John Douglas (drums), Jack Bonus (sax), Richrd Greene (violin).

1974- The Rowans Peter, Chris & Lorin / Asylum records. Produced by Richie Polodor (Stephenwolf, Three Dog Night). Musicians include Russ Kunkel (drums), David Hayes (bass-Van Morrison), Jack Bonus (flute and sax).

1975 Living The Life Chris & Lorin / Appaloosa (European release, studio recordings Italy)

1976 Sibling Rivalry Peter, Chris and Lorin / Elektra Asylum Records

1978 Jubilation Peter, Chris and Lorin / Elektra Asylum Records

1993 Tree on a Hill Peter Rowan & The Rowan brothers /.(American acoustic roots) Sugar Hill. (w/Richard Greene ,fiddles; SallyVan Meter (dobro, weissenborn guitar); Kester Smith (percussion); Viktor Krauss (acoustic bass), Cindy Cashdollar (dobro,weissenborn guitar, lap steel).

2002 - "Crazy People" - The Rowan Brothers have reunited with the new release of their new acoustic swing/Caribbean flavored CD, Crazy People, culminating over 10 years in the making.

2005 - "Now And Then" (BOS Music) - A two disc career-spanning retrospective including 17 new songs and 17 vintage cuts. The collections features performances from Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, Phil Lesh, and many more.

2010- "Rowan Cunningham Band"- 1st CD with fellow musican Sue Cunningham on fiddle and vocals- roots America.
2012- "New Horizons"-Rowan Cunningham band.
Acoustic roots/folk/rock/bluegrass.Available on I Tunes and at

Set List

There is a lot of flexibility in the set list. The Rowans can play "An Evening With" format for 3+ hours, or they can do abbreviated, support sets. They do occasional covers from acts like The Everly Brothers, The Beatles, swing and others. But the focus is on original materials composed by Chris and Lorin (with some contributions from brother Peter Rowan).