Roots music gets taste of Sweetwater
August 7, 2019
KEY LARGO — Mix in a bit of Florida Keys sand with some folk and country, and out comes the music of Sweetwater.
Patrick Knotts, a specialist in the Piedmont acoustic guitar style, and vocalist Pam Osterman bring their Americana songbook to venues throughout the Keys and south Miami-Dade County.
“It’s more warm and relaxed music, something easy to listen to,” Osterman described. “We can play songs from pretty much every decade so we try to gauge the audience and see how they respond.
“We’ll do favorites, from something soft and sultry to Creedence Clearwater Revival. We’ll throw in lot of Patrick’s originals but won’t overlook the standards we all love.”
Knotts’ Piedmont fingerstyle features picking that plays bass line, rhythm and melody.
“That takes work and really sets Pat apart from a lot of other styles. It’s cool,” Osterman said.
Cathy and Robin Austin of Key Largo took advantage of a break in the heat last Thursday evening to drop in on the Sweetwater duo’s appearance at the Lazy Lobster restaurant.
“They’re different from most of the rock bands down here, more folksy,” Cathy said.
Robin agreed, “It’s listening music and softer.”
For larger venues and frequent weekend appearances at Snook’s Bayside Restaurant, Sweetwater will add musicians who accompany them on an upright bass and a mandolin.
Both Knotts and Osterman moved to the Keys separately more than a decade ago.
“After vacationing in the Keys for years, it was time to sell the house and move down,” Pam said.
They started performing “at friends’ houses where we would get together, play guitars and do some jams,” she said. “It kind of evolved into Sweetwater.”
They have performed throughout the Keys, and at the Homestead Center for the Arts and Pub 935 in Florida City.
In the Upper Keys, upcoming weekend performances at Snook’s will begin at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 11, Aug. 18, Aug. 25 and Sept. 1.
The next Lazy Lobster appearances start at 6 p.m. Aug. 24 and Aug. 30.
Five of their songs — “Warm Bones,” “Island Home,” “Moonflower Road,” “Charlie” and “Pretty Candle” — can be streamed at Sweetwater Key Largo at reverbnation.com/sweetwater5.