The Sweet Lowdown are an all-female progressive Canadian roots band, consisting of Miriam Sonstenes (fiddle), Amanda Blied (guitar) Shanti Bremer (banjo). The trio all hail from Victoria, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island, snug between the Pacific Ocean and the wild Canadian North, an atmospheric and powerful setting that might provide expectations of an epic kind of music reflecting the strength of nature. Instead they opt for a different kind of epic, restraining their music and making it as beautiful and delicate as possible, a reflection of the quiet serenity of the mountains.
Each member of The Sweet Lowdown contributes creatively to the group, writing songs and tunes and trading off lead and harmony vocals. Each member also brings their own background in other forms of traditional music, contributing a creative diversity that accounts for the innovative and beautiful arrangements you’ll hear on new record ‘Chasing The Sun’: fiddler Miriam Sonstenes’ background as both a classical violinist and a purely traditional fiddler; guitarist Amanda Blied’s passion for Appalachian music as well as her early background in Balkan song; and banjo player Shanti Bremer’s love of hard-driving bluegrass banjo and her study of the darker tones of old-time clawhammer banjo. This whirling blend of influences could throw off any other band, but The Sweet Lowdown have a focus to their vision that fuses these disparate ingredients into a totally cohesive whole. This is old-time music with very new sensibilities.
Recently The Sweet Lowdown released an acoustic video version of ‘You Can Find The North’ (a song from the new album) to YouTube, highlighting their multiple talents and making for some extremely enjoyable listening/viewing. With a vocal delivery and stripped-back nature that I can’t help but compare to The White Stripes’ ‘We Are Going To Be Friends’ (perhaps an odd comparison, but one that makes sense to me all the same), hopefully this will be the highlight of your Sunday.