Thomas J. Rowe, a founding
member of Schooner Fare and Turkey Hollow and a Folk Alliance member died
Saturday, January 17, at Maine Medical Center, from cancer. He was 53.
After receiving a clarinet
at the age of six, he set out on a life-long path of performing that brought him
from the grange halls of rural Maine to major concert halls across the country,
including Lincoln Center, Town Hall, and Wolf Trap. His folk career started with
the gift of a banjo at age thirteen when he formed a high school folk group with
some friends and toured extensively throughout Maine.
After Tom attended the
University of Southern Maine as a Music Education major, he held several
positions in public education, including a year as music director in his former
In 1975, Tom was invited to
join the popular Maine folk/rock group Devonsquare, in which he met brothers
Chuck and Steve Romanoff. Later that year, the three left Devonsquare to form
the folk trio, Schooner Fare, with which Tom sang, played bass guitar and tin
whistle, and wrote many well-known songs.
He left teaching in 1982 to
devote himself fully to his family and his performing career. In 1992, Tom began
touring and recording with his son Dave as the duo, Rowe by Rowe. In 1998, Rowe
by Rowe added a third member, Denny Breau, and the group was renamed Turkey
Tom was a member and choir director for the First Universalist Church,
Unitarian-Universalist, in Auburn, ME, and was also a bass clarinetist with the
Auburn Community Band. He leaves behind an incredible legacy of music, much of
which was recorded in his own home recording studio.
[Courtesy of the