How Low helped Rochester musician Abts get her start – Post Bulletin

DULUTH — Mimi Parker, founding member of Minnesota band Low, died on Saturday of ovarian cancer . Bandmate and husband Alan Sparhawk announced her death on the band’s social media sites Sunday morning.

“She passed away last night, surrounded by family and love, including yours,” Sparhawk wrote, her husband and bandmate, in a statement Sunday morning on social media. “Keep her name close and sacred. Share this moment with someone who needs you. Love is indeed the most important thing.”

The loss reverberated through the Minnesota music scene. In Rochester, musician Amy Abts, who started her music career in Duluth reflected on the loss of her friend whom people knew as “Mim.”

“Her voice was so magical,” Abts said. “I got to know she had a pretty awesome sense of humor.”

Abts recalled opening for Low in Duluth in 1998 in front of a crowd of about 200 people. Until that point, Abts hadn’t played for more than a couple dozen people at a time. Parker calmed her nerves.

“I remember sitting backstage with Al, Mim and Zach (Sally), and Mim was like, ‘Are you nervous?”

Abts said she was.

“She was like, ‘Why are you nervous? Can’t you hear them, they’re excited for you, they love you!”

Low formed in 1993 and toured nationally and became known for their tight lead harmonies and emotional songs.

Abts said Mim and the rest of the group, while finding success as a touring indy rock band, remained kind and approachable. Abts recorded her first album at the band’s home studio and also provided vocal backing on Low’s album “Trust.”

Despite the cancer diagnosis, Parker remained active in music through the year including playing at the final Rock the Garden festival in Minneapolis. Low last performed in Rochester in 2019 with a show at the Civic Center in October.

Abts said she is mourning her friend and also mourning a loss for the Minnesota music community as a whole.

“It’s such a loss knowing there won’t be any new music released by Low,” she said.

However, the band’s influence on Minnesota music will live on, she added.

“There were a lot of young women in Duluth and Minnesota, around the country, really, who were inspired by her,” Abts said.

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