The Sweet Lowdown



There’s something about living on the edge of the world that tends to encourage far-reaching perspectives. Canadian roots trio THE SWEET LOWDOWN (Amanda Blied, guitar; Miriam Sonstenes, fiddle; Tad Ruszel, mandolin), based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, certainly understand this.

With the rough waters of the Pacific around 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. This is mountain music to be sure: mountains tied to the natural environment of the Pacific Northwest. As such, you’ll hear influences in this music as far-ranging as Celtic jigs, Appalachian fiddling, contemporary pop and that particularly Canadian blend of driving tradition and ground-breaking originality. The Sweet Lowdown draw from these influences, but are not beholden to them, instead blaze a new trail with original songwriting and innovative instrumental arrangements.

Gaining critical acclaim wherever their music takes them, The Sweet Lowdown have accomplished much in the past 5 years. A tour with Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe kicked off 2015, and coincided with their newest release, “Chasing The Sun” (produced by Adrian Dolan), being No. 1 on the Folk DJ Charts in January 2015. The album has been nominated for “Roots Recording of the Year” by the Western Canadian Music Awards, as well as earning the group a nomination for “Ensemble of the Year” by the Canadian Folk Music Awards. Their self-titled debut album (2011) was nominated for “Album of The Year” at the Vancouver Island Music Awards, and their second album “May” won “Island Roots Album of the Year”, at the VIMA’s. It also earned the trio a nomination for “Vocal Group of the Year” at the 2013 Canadian Folk Music Awards. The Sweet Lowdown have toured throughout North America and the UK, and have taught their love of roots music and harmony singing at camps and workshops across Canada.

“Harmonies to die for, fabulous playing, great original material.” Ian Anderson, fRoots Magazine

“Whatever the X factor is that makes for a standout… Canada’s The Sweet Lowdown undoubtedly have it in spades.”Jeremy Searle, R2 Magazine

“…they make some of the sweetest bluegrass and old-time music this side [and the other side] of The Great Divide.”Peter Cowley, Fatea Magazine