ONE third of the trio Lady Maisery and half of the Rheingans Sisters, folk artist Rowan Rheingans visits Powys with two solo 'Dispatches on the Red Dress' concerts next week.

Also celebrating the release of her new debut album 'The Lines We Draw Together', Rowan will be at the Wyeside Arts Centre, Builth Wells, on Wednesday, October 30; and at Machynlleth Tabernacle on Thursday, October 31.

Rowan is a fiddle player, banjoist and songwriter widely regarded as one of the foremost innovators in folk music today. Also a member of the band Songs of Separation, Rowan has won two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Best Original Track in 2016 and Best Album in 2017, and is a six-times nominee.

In what will prove to be a career-shifting year, Rowan premiered her new ambitious and deeply personal solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe in August, ahead of this national tour.

An intimate and adventurous exploration of memory, identity, joy, sorrow, trauma-recovery, war and waltzes, 'Dispatches on the Red Dress' tells the true story of Rowan’s German grandmother’s youth in 1940s Germany. With genre-melding fluidity, Rowan weaves immersive storytelling around 10 new songs performed live with fiddle, banjo, guitar and subtly inventive use of pre-recorded sounds.

In the current time of deeply felt political tensions, with the rise of racism in our communities and a new nationalistic fervour gaining pace across Europe, 'Dispatches on the Red Dress' is a highly resonant and much needed historic provocation for our current political and social climate.

Slowly revealing what is at once a warm family story and a troubling elegy on the modern human condition, Rowan explores how hope for the future may be found in the very darkest pockets of our history.

As well as being a heartfelt yet unflinching anti-war and anti-fascist statement, the show is also an uplifting celebration of small acts of every-day resistance, speaking directly to the human capabilities of transformation and change. It is Rowan’s most courageous, most political and most personal work to date.

Having taken more than two years to write, Rowan says: “For me, this is a show about horror and beauty. It is also about trauma recovery, birdsong, war and waltzes. Hidden in the folds of my own grandmother’s story, there is a profound darkness alongside.”

Developed in collaboration with Liam Hurley (Karine Polwart’s 'Wind Resistance') the live show brings the intimacy of a folk concert to meet the ancient traditions of storytelling and textures of contemporary theatre in a troubling, tender and powerful performance.

Rowan’s duo The Rheingans Sisters have also just finished touring and are currently nominees in the prestigious ‘Best Duo/Group’ category at the the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards; while Lady Maisery are also touring and will be at Kington Folk on December 1, ahead of Christmas tour dates.

Call 01982 552555 for ticket availability for the Wyeside, and 01654 703355 for Machynlleth. Rowan will also be at the Hermon Chapel Arts, Oswestry, on Sunday, November 10.