The Rowan Amber Mill started out in 2007 and after some initial line up and name changes Stephen recruited Bass player and percussionist Terry and singer Kim in early 2008, with additional singer and recorder player Sharon replacing Kim in late 2009.
With initial tracks being made available on the bands own website (www.millersounds.co.uk) and on Myspace, a degree of interest grew in the music and the band's music started to receive airplay on some "weird folk" friendly radio shows, in addition to receiving some encouragement from some fine musical people (you know who you are). They were also asked by the people behind a new totally ethical downloads website (the indmill.com) to release some Rowan Amber Mill music on their newly launched site.
So, in August 2008, the first release by The Rowan Amber Mill was a 6 track mini album entitled 'folk devils and moral panics'. The mini album was made available as a download only on the downloads website the indmill.com
In 2009, The Rowan Amber Mill contributed the track 'Blood and Blones to a rather wonderful compilation CD released entitled Beyond The Pale released by Sideways Through Sound, which featured some top weird folkists (including some of our own faves such as Arborea, Silver Pines and The Gentle Good).The legendary Terrascope Online (Terrascopic Magazine) reviewed Blood and Bones on the compilation and said "Working to an epic scale, The Rowan Amber Mill are intense and magnificent on “Blood and Bones”, a hypnotic banjo adding menace to the tune, whilst an incessant drone nags away at the back of your mind ".
June 2009, saw the release of their debut CD 'midsummers', a 10 track CD themed around feelings and elements eminating from Summer.
Which received some rave reviews "I'm pretty sure you'll agree with me when I say that THE ROWAN AMBER MILL might just be one of the most promising folk acts to date. "; "'Midsummers' is beautiful, interesting, intriguing and a wonderful craft."; "Some songs become so associated with an event that people forget to perform it, "Sumer Is A Cumen" is such a song, forever linked to "The Wickerman" so power to The Rowan Amber Mill for reclaiming it on the mystical and majestic "Midsummers" album, an album of English folklore and themes. You can almost smell the cut grass in the hay meadow, watching the windmill turn in the breeze whilst enjoying a countryside picnic and yet at the same time be reminded that nature can be dark and beautiful as well as pretty and faye."; " it gives a fine introduction to The Rowan Amber Mill. To discover gentle tranquillity this summer there’s not too much better for your soul than their music." and "If you are already a fan of folk-psych outfit The Owl Service you’ll love these guys too."
The latter half of 2009 to June 2010 saw them in recording mode once more for their eagerly awaited full length album. Heartwood is due for release on 23rd August 2010.
"For the many who haven’t yet tuned into the sound of The Rowan Amber Mill, it may be a help to point you towards some stylistic comparisons with bands whose music you will have heard. Comparisons of The Rowan Amber Mill’s music could be easily drawn to the beautiful bucolic harmonies of Fleet Floxes, or the gorgeous psych-folk meanderings of Espers , the ‘early music’ weirdness of Circulus, the beautiful pastoral psonics of (early) Tunng or perhaps the modern folk tales take mastered by The Owl Service. But the ‘Rowans’ have their own unique sound, and an approach to (some rather intricate) arrangements that blend whole series of instruments together that you wouldn’t automatically think of putting together. In that respect the music puts me in the mind of a contemporary folky take on Pet Sounds . But at the heart of the music, it is obvious that the song is the thing".
Mushroom Wings - issue 7 (Psych Folk fanzine).