The Sweet Lowdown

The Sweet Lowdown
Photo © Robin Gartner
Band Bio & Media ©


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; Tad Ruszel, mandolin; Miriam Sonstenes, fiddle), 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. As such, you’ll hear influences as far-ranging as Celtic jigs, contemporary pop, Appalachian fiddling, and that particularly Canadian blend of driving tradition and ground-breaking originality. The Sweet Lowdown draw from these styles, but are not beholden to them, instead blaze a new trail with original songwriting and innovative instrumentals.

Gaining critical acclaim wherever their music takes them, The Sweet Lowdown have accomplished much in the past 10 years. With three full length albums, an EP, and numerous awards and award nominations, the group has toured Canada, the US and the UK. Highlights include performances at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, Canmore Folk Fest and a tour with Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe in 2015. 

The Sweet Lowdown have the ability to play to and engage a diverse audience – young and old, lovers of traditional music as well as those new to it. As well as sharing their love of music in performance, the band has taught instrumental workshops and harmony singing at camps and festivals across Canada.

In 2017 banjo player and founding member Shanti Bremer left the band to pursue other goals. In 2018 Tad Ruszel joined the group, bringing distinctive vocals and skillful mandolin playing. Expect to hear much of The Sweet Lowdown’s original material with a slight new twist, along with brand new music penned by all three members.