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The Bowmans began their performance career as "singing puppeteers" in their hometown of Davenport Iowa. Sarah and Claire’s ability to harmonize was discovered (by their parents, of course) at the age of three. The twins began creating their own imaginative songs immediately upon the delivery of their first tape recorder in 1984, upon which they cut their first album, “Chicks and Families Radio Rocks,” a compilation which included performances by various artists such as Snot the pig, Little Bear Second Brain, and Bellbina. The seeds of a lifelong partnership were sown from the far-reaching success of that first album.
The twins have performed together regularly since then, early becoming fixtures throughout the Midwest from coffee-shops to huge outdoor festivals. At Duquesne they furthered their craft, playing several venues in and around Pittsburgh area while studying at the university. After finishing college, the Bowmans moved to Baltimore and continued performing together throughout the Balto-D.C. corridor, despite the demands of Sarah’s duties as an orchestra teacher.
These days, The Bowmans seem to be everywhere on the New York City music scene. And why shouldn’t they be? Sarah’s lyrics and vocals range from reminiscently droll to poignantly sublime. Coupled with skillful cello and guitar playing, Sarah has already afforded recognition as one of the top musicians on the city scene. Claire is an artful fiddler and evocative vocalist to match. Together, the twins’ harmonies sound as if they come simultaneously from one astonishing voice. Sarah and Claire share the rare, almost telepathic bond common to twins, and because of this they are clearly always on the same musical page.
The latest phase of The Bowmans’ development began in 2004, when Sarah did what nearly all the American musicians do - made the move to New York City. She quickly became a fixture on the Antifolk scene as a solo artist and guest cellist, sharing the stage with more than a dozen of the hottest musicians and bands in town. No doubt noting her sister’s immediate impact on the scene, Claire was quick to join Sarah, making the move up north later that year. The Bowmans reunited and the people of New York noticed. In a very short time, they have become nearly ubiquitous, receiving rave critical reviews and garnering themselves a devoted following from the famed Sidewalk Café in the East Village to the burgeoning Whiskey Breath weekly event in Williamsburg.
The Bowmans’ sound is at once unique and prototypically American. Shades of Americana connect with characteristics of modern singer-songwriters; vaudeville blends with indie-folk; undertones of classical influences meld with loads of rock and roll edge. Though the Bowmans have worked together almost since their birth, they are beginning an enlivening new chapter to their richly musical lives.
Why They're So Antifolk: "The Bowmans are undoubtedly Antifolk folks but not anti-folks. Our rhythm section is made up of Claire's broken boot heels and the metal jingle bell Christmas tree our aunt gave us. Sarah can't go an entire set without breaking a string, and she doesn't even own her own guitar, kids."
Press Quotes: "The Twins...have the uncanny chemistry that only comes from making music together since birth. I'm a total sucker for Eisley-esque harmonies, the kind where you can't tell where one voice ends and the other begins, and The Bowmans have the gift. " --Chris Cantallini, gorillavsbear.net
More info at The Bowmans.