The Sweet Lowdown band members Shanti Bremer

Bluegrass ensemble discovers musical inspiration in the wild greenery of Vancouver Island

NANAIMO - The Sweet Lowdown performs in Nanaimo Saturday (Dec. 12) at 7:30 p.m.

There’s something about bluegrass music that feels like home and family for fiddle player Miriam Sonstenes.

The musician, a member of The Sweet Lowdown, a band that hails from Victoria, feels a connection to  audience members when they clap or stomp their feet to the tunes.

Sonstenes, along with her band mates Amanda Blied on guitar and Shanti Bremer on Banjo are performing a concert in Nanaimo Saturday (Dec. 12) at 7:30 p.m.

Vancouver Island is a big influence in the trio’s music. The rough waters off the Island’s shores and wild greenery inspire many of their songs. This inspiration translates into Celtic jigs, Appalachian fiddling and contemporary pop songs that blend together to create traditional and original scores.

During the concert, the band members share stories about how they create songs. Each member works individually on melodies and then presents them to the group.

One song, called Leaving, Sonstenes wrote a few years ago while visiting family in Germany.

“It was five in the morning, August, in the summertime and I was just listening to the black birds singing at five in the morning in Germany and it was so beautiful,” said Sonstenes.

The Sweet Lowdown’s recent album, Chasing the Sun, rose to No. 1 on the folk DJ charts in January. The record also earned the trio a nomination for a Western Canadian Music Award for Roots Duo/Group Recording of the Year.

The band members have been friends for the past 12 years.  They met through the old time and bluegrass community.

“We just knew right away that we found this connection,” said Sonstenes.

The Sweet Lowdown performs Saturday (Dec. 12) at the General George R. Pearkes Seniors Housing complex’s activity centre.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 in advance and are available at Fascinating Rhythm and Arbutus Music.




Just Posted

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

Suspect allegedly robs bank at Terminal Park Mall

According to a Nanaimo RCMP, a man robbed the TD Bank at about 3:40 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17

Truck and taxi cab collide in Cedar

Accident happened Monday, Feb. 19 at about 2:15 p.m. on Harmac Road

B.C. Ferries aims to improve passenger perceptions and onboard experience

Corporation acknowledges it is sometimes seen in a negative light

Weekend temperatures down among coldest on record

Nanaimo hit with snow and sub-freezing temperatures over weekend

Montreal Canadiens alumni shoot and score at Nanaimo charity game

The Habs alumni team won 8-4 at Sunday’s event at Frank Crane Arena

Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with Olympic gold

Virtue and Moir’s gold medal win at the Olympics makes them the world’s most decorated figure skaters

Icy conditions lead to Parksville crash

Sedan went off the side of the highway, knocked over a light pole and went down embankment

Vehicle stop in Parksville leads to drug seizure, arrest

‘Trafficking-level’ quantities of suspected drugs found

12-year-old girl allegedly sexually assaulted at Victoria shopping centre

Suspect fled Bay Centre after alleged incident Sunday

Emergency crews rescue pregnant woman after fall on mountain near Victoria

Roughly four-hour-long rescue includes firefighters from two departments

VIU volleyball teams will go for the kill as playoffs start

Vancouver Island University’s men’s and women’s teams have byes into PacWest semifinals

PHOTO GALLERY: Home sweet home expo in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Spring 2018 Home Expo takes place at Beban Park this weekend.

Nanaimo fundraiser walk creates awareness about cold nights outside

Island Crisis Care Society set to host Coldest Night of the Year on Saturday, Feb. 24

Most Read