Stray Chords began as the Rowe family band, based in Harrogate, in North Yorkshire.

The band plays lively traditional folk dance music from the British Isles and USA, for barn dances and ceilidhs. They also play for English folk dance and American contra dance clubs.

All the band members enthusiastically enjoy dancing as well as playing and this means they really understand both sides of how to create great dance music.

Philip and Joyce Rowe form the mainstay of the band. Their sons Benjamin and Joshua are the other two original members and still join them occasionally. Otherwise the band is usually a 3-piece line-up including Ian on bass.

Philip Rowe leads the band on accordion and fiddle and arranges all the music. He has been playing for folk dance since he was a young child. Best known as the founder of Knotted Chord, he also ran a young musicians band 'Rhubarb Sandwich' for 10 years that became very well known in the Harrogate area. He plays piano for American contra dance and also plays viola and double bass.

He is frequently in demand as guest artiste for several other Harrogate-based bands, is deputy leader of Harrogate Symphony Orchestra, and plays cello in Harrogate Philharmonic.

During daylight hours, Philip works as a computer software developer in the world of finance and accountancy.

Joyce Rowe is the daughter of David Bradley, accordionist and leader of the Mixolydians, and of Ann, tea chest/electric bass player and caller. Joyce was thus from an early age exposed relentlessly to the world of folk dance and music and took up the fiddle when in junior school. In the past, she has played with the Mixolydians, with several variations on family bands and occasionally with David Pattenden's former band 'O Yez', as well as a brief spell as a musician for Touchwood Appalachian, with whom she also danced for some years. (She is also a clog dancer, though very out of practice.) Joyce has also played with Knotted Chord since 1989.

Ian plays bass guitar and double bass.

Stray Chords works with a variety of local callers who teach the dances at our events, most often Bob Carter.

Joshua Rowe now lives in Sheffield but joins us when he can. He plays mostly guitar and electric bass but also violin and concertina. He had several years as a regular member of Knotted Chord, and made guest appearances with several Harrogate ceilidh bands, and was the bass player in Rhubarb Sandwich for some years.

Benjamin Rowe currently lives in Bristol and plays regularly with Contrasaurus and Bearded Dragons but joins us occasionally. He is a hugely talented violinist and composer. He played with Rhubarb Sandwich Ceilidh Band from the age of nine, had a few years with Knotted Chord and is regularly in demand as a freelance musician in various other line-ups.

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