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Extended Digital Booklet


1. The Heart Is A Hollow Thing (A. Blied) 3:34 2. Big Wave (M. Sonstenes) 2:43 3. Please Take Me Home (S. Bremer) 2:59 4. Let It Go (M. Sonstenes) 3:53 5. Insa and Liam’s Jig/Stones In My Pocket (M. Sonstenes) 4:05 6. Reuben’s Train (Trad) 3:31 7. Hushabye (A. Blied) 3:37 8. Lucknow (S. Bremer) 3:02 9. Drink It Down (S. Bremer) 3:02 10. Sail Away Ladies (Trad) 3:39 11. May (S. Bremer) 4:12 12. What Goes Up (A. Blied) 3:38 All tracks 9 except 2, 5, 8, 11 5.


The Sweet Lowdown: Amanda Blied: guitar, lead vocals (1, 6, 7, 10, 12) Shanti Bremer: banjo, guitar (12), lead vocals (3, 9) Miriam Sonstenes: fiddle, lead vocal (4)

Guest Musicians: Sam Howard: bass (2, 3, 6, 11)Adrian Dolan: mandola (8), viola (12)

Credits: Produced, engineered, and mixed by Adrian Dolan (www.adriandolan.com) Recorded at Fiddlehead Studios (Mayne Island, BC) and Marlborough Studios (Victoria, BC) Mixed at Marlborough Studios and Baker Studios Ltd. Mastered by Joby Baker (Baker Studios Ltd.) Photography by Matt Miles, except Cover photo by Amanda Blied and Moon photo by Miriam Sonstenes Paper collage by Shanti Bremer Design and Layout by Wendy Wall (Off the Wall Design), Barbara Pedrick and Amanda Blied


The Instruments: Amanda plays a 1974 Martin D28 and a 2005 Vintage Bourgeois. Shanti plays a 1997 Golden Era Deering banjo, and an early 1900s open back Lyon and Healy banjo. Miriam plays a 1954 Roth violin and a German bow, c. 1950.


1. The Heart Is A Hollow Thing

(A. Blied/SOCAN) “I think you are wrong to want a heart. It makes most people unhappy. If you only knew it, you are in luck not to have a heart.” The Wizard to the Tin Woodman in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum I want to hear you sing Never clip your wings Want to hold your head Want to break the bed

But the heart is a hollow thing It beats and beats and breaks And beats and beats and breaks again Sticks and stones Oh, hollow bones Bird take wing Fly high and sing

Chorus Lost your stride Against the tide In the wind and rain All broken again

Chorus Sticks and stones Oh, hollow bones Bird take wing Fly high and sing

Chorus


2. Big Wave

(M. Sonstenes/SOCAN) Crossing from Quadra Island to Vancouver Island on a stormy winter day, we experienced a terrifying moment when a big wave came right over the bow of the ferry and our car. We’re happy to be here today, playing a tune about it!


3. Please Take Me Home

(S. Bremer/SOCAN) Changing seasons, and a happy change of heart. Please take me home I don’t need my old home anymore Please take me home You’re the one that I adore You’re the one that I adore Hard times don’t mean a thing There’ll be times like this and times like that again But loving you goes on and on I’ll love you more as the days grow long And when they turn around I’ll love you that much more again Summer days fall away Go to a dark and quiet place where I can play Songs of knowing you are mine That your with me and I’m with you all the time By you I’ll take the longest night, the winter too in stride Please take me home I don’t need my old home anymore Please take me home You’re the one that I adore You’re the one that I adore


4. Let It Go (M. Sonstenes/SOCAN) This song came to me after visiting old haunts with a dear old friend. It’s been a long time Since I walked through this old town All the streets shine brighter There’s an unfamiliar sound Oh I can’t walk slow enough To make the moment last All that’s left here now falls away There’s nothing of the past

It’s a long way To the places That we used to know All the empty rooms And the hours Waiting by the phone Why can’t we let it go What you and I both know Why can’t we let it go Hey old friend of mine Won’t you walk a ways with me On these crowded streets Where we used to run so free For every grain of sand There’s a tear that I have cried Let’s forget all the sad times Stay with me a while

Chorus There’s a moon tonight See the way it shines for you Though you’re far, far away I know you see it too Walk along the shore And throw a stone for me Cast away all your trouble Someday you will see


5. Insa and Liam’s Jig/Stones In My Pocket

(M. Sonstenes/SOCAN) The jig is dedicated to my wonderful niece and nephew who live in Germany, and the reel is inspired by my habit of collecting small, round, colourful stones on Dallas Beach, my favourite place in Victoria.

6. Reuben’s Train (Traditional)

Chorus

The words we sing come mostly from Doc Watson and Clarence Ashley’s version on “The Original Folkways Recordings of Doc Watson and Clarence Ashley,” a two CD collection that is one of my favourites. On that recording they call it Old Ruben. - Amanda

Well I’ve been to the east And I’ve been to the west Now I’m going where them chilly winds don’t blow And it’s oh me, oh Lordy my I’m going where them chilly winds don’t blow

Well old Reuben built a train And he put it on the track He run it to the Lord knows where And it’s oh me, oh Lordy my Gonna run it to the Lord knows where

Chorus

Well you should have been up town When I heard the train go down You could hear that whistle blow a hundred miles And it’s oh me, oh Lordy my You could hear that whistle blow a hundred miles

Well the longest train that I ever saw It was ninety-nine coaches long And the only man that I ever loved He was on that train and gone Chorus


7. Hushabye (A. Blied/SOCAN) A lullaby for hard times. Hushabye and hushabye Baby go ahead and cry Hushabye and hushabye  Baby go ahead and cry And give your tears to the water She will carry them away And give your fears to the water She will carry them away

Chorus Look how the rain is falling So hard tonight And this old city is all cut through In ribbons of light

Chorus Look how the snow is falling So hard tonight But this old river is still flowing Under a blanket of ice

Chorus


8. Lucknow

(S. Bremer/SOCAN) Named after a city in India I visited several years ago for a friend’s wedding.


9. Drink It Down (S. Bremer/SOCAN)

Chorus

Inspired after watching a documentary on water rights and the impending shortage of this precious substance. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I have been privileged with an abundance of water my whole life.

Save us Small towns, farms and prairie homes And cities too Save us The walls are going up and I don’t trust They’ll come back down

Soothe me The bottle’s in the back where I can’t reach I can’t reach Soothe me The rain is coming down so heavily I can’t breath Lay it down Your head upon the pillow and the pride You always found Hold it close Those feelings of worth and your lack Of remorse

When the rain ceases to fall And winter doesn’t come at all And the taps won’t give you a glass Save us Save us Small towns, farms and prairie homes And cities too Save us The walls are going up and I don’t trust They’ll come back down Asleep at night While demons stay awake and sell our rights Before we wake And when we do It’s to the store and on the shelf we see Their good nights’ work

Chorus


10. Sail Away Ladies (Traditional) With many versions of the words and variations of the melody, this song must be as old as the hills. I can’t remember where I first heard it… it just seems like one of those songs that’s always been there. I came to sing it in this way a number of years ago when I was living far from home, longing for the Pacific. - Amanda Whenever I get my new house done I’ll give the old one to my son

So don’t you weep, oh Daddy-o Don’t you weep, oh Daddy-o Don’t you weep, oh Daddy-o Don’t you weep, oh Daddy-o Sail away, lady, sail away Sail away, lady, sail away Sail away, lady, sail away Sail away, lady, sail away ‘Cause there ain’t no use to sit and cry You’ll be an angel by and by

Chorus I’ve got a home right by the sea (Sail away, lady, sail away) And that’s the place I long to be (Sail away, lady, sail away)

Chorus


11. May (S. Bremer/SOCAN) 1. The fifth month of the year 2. expressing possibility 3. the springtime of life 4. an archaic word for maiden 5. to gather flowers in the spring


12. What Goes Up (A. Blied/SOCAN) This song came to me after a nighttime toboggan ride on the Winter Solstice. Blue are the midnight skies On those the longest nights When up the hills we go Ride snow back down Snow lit the night like day Day broke above blue lakes Glaciers they shone like gold Behold the sun I’ve heard we’re spinning ‘round That’s why the sun goes down And what goes up must fall back down again So just like Jack and Jill We’ll go back up the hill Just to ride right back down Again like friends And when the daylight breaks Sleep shall us overtake These hills will shine like gold Behold the sun Shines for everyone And I’ve heard we’re spinning round That’s why the sun goes down, And what goes up must fall back down again


We are so grateful to the many people who made it possible for us to record this album. We would especially like to thank Adrian Dolan for his skill, humour and kindness, and the Iredale-Gray family: Meg, Jennifer, Peter, and Adam for allowing us to make this recording in the most beautiful setting we could imagine. We would also like to thank Joby Baker, Sam Howard, Matt Miles, Barbara Pedrick, Jeff and Connie Bremer, Wendy Wall, Dan Pedrick, Kim Tipper, Dave Cahill, Don McDougall, Heather Doyle, Mike Brooks, Anne Louise Genest, Jeff Dill, Garrett, Genevieve Charbonneau, Zev Roman, Pete Reid, Kelly Warren at Pressing Media, our friends, family and fans, everyone who lent their support to this recording project, and of course, anyone who has ever taught us a tune or a song!


Made with love in Canada. CP 2012 The Sweet Lowdown. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction, copying or rental of this recording is prohibited by law. Thank you for purchasing our music and supporting independent musicians and songwriters.


The Sweet Lowdown - May - Extended CD Booklet  

Extended digital version of CD booklet for The Sweet Lowdown's 2012 CD "May". Includes additional photos by Matt Miles.