|Monday 21 April 2014 @ 02:00pm : -
The Sweet Lowdown
The Sweet Lowdown can take you anywhere you want to go, from a sunny front porch to the outer reaches of the universe. Blending original songwriting and three-part harmonies with an old-time instrumental groove, this award-winning acoustic roots trio from Victoria, B.C. creates a unique yet timeless sound that takes listeners on a pleasurable and memorable journey.
Drawn together by mutual passion for old-time music, hard-driving bluegrass, sweet harmonies and well-wrought songs, The Sweet Lowdown (Amanda Blied-guitar, Shanti Bremer-banjo and Miriam Sonstenes-fiddle) pays homage to its musical roots while simultaneously breaking new ground. Each member contributes to the band’s original repertoire and each has a unique vocal flair as well as impressive instrumental chops.
These are well evident on The Sweet Lowdown’s latest award-winning album, “May,” produced by Adrian Dolan (The Bills, Ruth Moody), mastered by Joby Baker (Cowboy Junkies, The Bills) and released in November 2012. The album features ten original compositions and two traditional songs that demonstrate a wide range of influences, including Irish and Indian music. It earned the trio a nomination for a 2013 Canadian Folk Music Award, and follows on the heels of the band’s highly praised self-titled 2011 album, which received a nomination for “Album of the Year” by the Vancouver Island Music Awards. Winners of the 2013 “Island Roots Album of the Year” (Vancouver Island Music Awards), Victoria’s 2011 M-Award for “Favorite Roots/World Music Group”, and nominated for “Island Artist of the Year” and “BC-Wide Artist of the Year” (VIMA), The Sweet Lowdown has the ability to play to, draw in, and excite a diverse audience–young and old, lovers of traditional music as well as those new to it.
The past three years has seen the band traveling around North America to share their music and teach their craft, in Canada from Haida Gwaii (Edge of the World Music Festival) to Nova Scotia (Cape Breton Island, Lunenburg Folk Harbor Festival), from northern Saskatchewan (Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Tyme Camp and Festival) to the Northwest Territories (Folk on The Rocks). Their first US tour in October 2012 took them to California, Iowa and Illinois. Early 2013 included a Home Routes tour of southern Ontario, and summer festivals included Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival (Whitehorse, Yukon), Folk On The Rocks (Yellowknife, NWT), Mission Folk Fest (Mission, BC) and Sunshine Music Festival (Powell River, BC). The trio played an official showcase at the Folk Music Ontario conference (formerly OCFF) in October 2013, and did a Western Canadian tour (eastern BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan) in November 2013.
This February, The Sweet Lowdown toured in North Carolina and Virginia, then headed to Kansas City, Missouri for official and private showcases at Folk Alliance International. In March they will be recording their third album, to be released in September 2014. The trio will be showcasing at Pacific Contact in Vancouver in April, and then head straight to the UK for their first European Tour. A busy but great spring!