Acoustic roots is a catch-all for a vast array of music styles — from folk to bluegrass, blues to new grass, Celtic to Americana. It’s kind of old-timey, country and folksy and a group that has it all going on is The Sweet Lowdown.
Sweet Lowdown will be the feature performers at a dinner show at the Sooke Legion on Nov. 24.
Joining the Lowdown will be Aaron and Sandy and local band Just Us with special guest Pearl Lacey.
The Sweet Lowdown is a trio from Victoria, drawn together by mutual passion for old-time groove, hard driving bluegrass, sweet harmonies and well-wrought songs. The Sweet Lowdown is Amanda Blied – guitar, Shanti Bremer – banjo and Miriam Sonstenes – fiddle. These three blend original songwriting with old time roots music to create a sound that is unique yet timeless.
Originally conceived as a duo in 2008 by Blied and Bremer, The Sweet Lowdown recorded an EP with Adam Iredale-Gray (Fish & Bird), touring and performing in the Pacific Northwest. By the spring of 2010, the duo was ready to develop a fuller sound and fiddler Sonstenes joined the group. The newly formed trio quickly set to work refining their new sound and in January 2011 they traveled by train to Parry Sound, Ontario, to record their self-titled debut album with musician and sound engineer Andrew Collins (Creaking Tree String Quartet, Foggy
Hogtown Boys). By the early spring of 2011 the trio had garnered quite a local following and won the Monday Magazine M-Award for Favorite Roots/World Music Group. In June they released their debut album which was nominated for 2012 “Album of the Year” by the Vancouver Island Music Awards.
This past spring saw the trio head back in to the recording studio. The result is their soon-to-be-released second album, May, an emotionally intimate collection of 10 original compositions and two traditional songs that build upon their previous collection of music while demonstrating a greater range of their influences, including Irish and Indian music.
Shanti Bremer grew up in Olympia, Washington, where she began learning bluegrass banjo at the age of 11. After moving to Victoria, Bremer continued to refine her bluegrass sound and also discovered and became smitten with clawhammer banjo. Today, she has a busy teaching schedule in both styles and continues to diversify as a banjo player.
Coming to Canada from Germany at the age of nine, Miriam Sonstenes is a classically trained violinist turned fiddler. She has plays with Victoria groups The Moonshiners, The Yiddish Columbia State Orchestra and Shearwater Bluegrass Band. She is also a sought after violin and fiddle teacher, and has taught at fiddle and bluegrass camps throughout B.C. and the Northwest Territories.
Amanda Blied, the only Victoria native, fell in love with old time music in 2000 upon hearing the recordings of Doc Watson and Clarence Ashley. She has since traveled throughout North America tracing the roots of music she loves and she brings to an old time feel to her guitar playing. She sang for years with Victoria’s award-winning Eastern European a capella vocal ensemble, the Balkan Babes.
The dinner part of the evening includes Chicken Cordon Bleu, ham, scalloped potatoes, various vegetables and dessert. Dinner beings at 7 p.m. with the show at 8 p.m.
Tickets are available at the Legion, Shoppers Drug Mart and Peoples Drug Mart. There is a limited number of tickets for Legion members and bona fide guests.