Winners of the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for ‘Best Original Track’, The Rheingans Sisters make bold, playful, innovative folk music that is anchored in traditions without ever being bound by them. Audiences across the world have been captivated by their performances, each one an authentic invitation to participate in an intuitive musical conversation between two musicians at the height of their powers. A life-time’s deep learning of European traditions is carefully re-imagined to produce beguiling new music. Older musical landscapes shape new songs, asking irresistible questions concerning our own lives. Always creating space for spontaneity and surprise, instrumental pieces are wholly contemporary while drawing from the well of musical knowledge passed down through generations.
Fiddle-singers and multi-instrumentalists Rowan and Anna Rheingans grew up in the Peak District, surrounded by traditional music and encouraged to pick up the ﬁddle by their musician mother and violin-maker father from an early age. Rowan is a well known on the English folk scene as part of hugely popular BBC Folk Award nominated trio Lady Maisery as well as for her work with Nancy Kerr & The Sweet Visitor Band and the Songs of Separation super-group alongside Eliza Carthy and Karine Polwart. Anna lives and works as a fiddle player in Toulouse and is an expert in southern French folk music, having recently gained a 1st class diploma from the Conservatioire Occitan. As both sisters have also spent a signiﬁcant amount of time studying ﬁddle music in Sweden and Norway, they pull a range of inﬂuences from both northern and southern European ﬁddle traditions into their own interpretations, compositions and arrangements.
The Rheingans Sisters’ debut album Glad Gold Hearts was released on Rootbeat Records in June 2013 to wide critical acclaim. Songlines described them as "musical miscegenation with unabashed conﬁdence, a duo of considerable abilities and imaginations to match” and nominated Rowan and Anna for Best Group and Best Newcomer in the Songlines Music Awards.
Their second, award-winning album Already Home, recorded over just ﬁve days in a remote forest studio in mid-Wales, is an enticing, thoughtful and adventurous record that quickly caused a stir when it was released in November 2015. Amongst a ﬂurry of fantastic reviews, The Independent called Already Home ‘superb’, fRoots made them a cover-feature and described the album as “quite simply extraordinary” and Folk Radio UK hailed it as “not only a beautiful and exceptional record, but an important one”. It reached the top 10 albums in the 2015 fRoots Critics Poll Album of the Year, was awarded a Songlines ‘Top of the World’ award and earned Rowan and Anna no less than two nominations at the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. As well as being nominated for the ‘Horizon’ award which celebrates the best new acts on the UK’s folk scene, they won ‘Best Original Track’ for the song Mackerel.