The Sweet Lowdown's Progressive Canadian Roots Music

Article Contributed by HearthMusic | Published on Thursday, November 20, 2014

There's something about living on the edge of the Western world that tends to encourage far-reaching perspectives. Canadian roots trio The Sweet Lowdown certainly understand this. All three members (Miriam Sonstenes, fiddle; Amanda Blied, guitar; Shanti Bremer, banjo) hail from Victoria, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island. With the rough waters of the Pacific behind them and the wilds of the Canadian North above them, The Sweet Lowdown have developed original acoustic roots music that draws from earth and sky for their third album, Chasing the Sun. Earth in the form of the Appalachian old-time stringband music that underpins and fuels their music, and sky in the form of the soaring harmonies that uplift their songs. This is mountain music to be sure; mountains tied to the natural environment of the Canadian Northwest. As such, you'll hear influences in this music as far-ranging as Celtic jigs, Scandinavian fiddling, and that particularly Canadian blend of driving tradition and ground-breaking originality made famous by groups like The Duhks and The Wailin' Jennys. The Sweet Lowdown draw from these influences, but are not beholden, instead blazing a new trail with original songwriting and innovative instrumental arrangements.