In some ways, the beginnings of The Rowan Tree happened over 20 years ago on the tiny island of Lindisfarne, the childhood home of Tom and Laura and where they played music together as part of a 'family band'. Years later, after Laura had made her home in Cornwall, Tom came to spend the summer there and both became members of the then newly formed Alt/Folk band The Grenaways. Meanwhile, Richard, a talented young folk musician returned home to Cornwall after completing a degree in folk music at Newcastle University. He released his debut solo album in 2012 and quickly became an established and respected member of the Cornish traditional music scene. In 2016 Richard and Laura met when they were each invited to join the band Kesson, led by Cornish composer Kyt Le Nen Davey. The band had been formed for a week of shows at the Festival Interceltique in Lorient, Brittany and it was soon after they returned from that trip that Richard met Tom at a gig. Around the same time Natural Voice Practicioner and talented musician and composer Neal Jolly moved to Cornwall and joined The Grenaways as bass player. By the time The Grenaways travelled to Ireland to represent Cornwall at the Pan Celtic festival in 2017 Neal, Richard, Tom and Laura were all part of the band. While in Ireland the four began jamming together in the house they were sharing and quickly began developing sets of tunes both traditional and original and finding they had their own unique sound and rapport with one another. They decided to continue exploring this more traditional, Celtic sound when they returned to Cornwall and very quickly The Rowan Tree had cemented itself as a band in its own right. The name was chosen in memory of Tom and Laura's cousin Rowan Draper, and Rowan's mum, talented artist Gillian Middleton created the band's artwork. The band released their first self titled EP in April 2018 which they recorded, mixed, produced and mastered themselves thanks to the expertise of Tom! In 2018 The Rowan Tree returned to the Pan Celtic placing 2nd in the International Song Contest after a dramatic 1st place tie break situation with Ireland. In May 2018 they became the first Cornish act to win Liet International with their song 'Tresor', and the first group selected to represent Cornwall since Gwenno in 2003!
2019 sees the group working on a new mixed media project ‘Kolar’s Gold’. Funded by the Arts Council England and Cornwall Heritage Trust the project will tell the story of Cornish miners and their Indian counterparts at the Kolar Gold Fields, through music, art, film and literature.