Sunny Sweeney. Have you heard of her? Well, if you haven’t, you’re in luck because Thursday, she’s bringing her blend of “hard” country (her word) to The Blue Side right here in beautiful Frederick, Maryland. We recently caught up with her to talk about the current country music scene, her love for Cody Jinks and what she thinks is the most perfect song ever written.
Can you tell us a little about how you fell in love with music? At what point did you decide you wanted to make music your life?
I fell in love with music when I was a child, but I didn’t decide until after college (when it came time to get a 9-to-5) that I figured if I put my mind to it, I could probably make it work to have a career in the music business.
Have you been to either Frederick or the D.C. area before? Anything you’re looking forward to checking out again or for the first time?
I have been to the area many times. I have cousins that live up there, too, so it’s always nice to see them when I come to town. I went to the White House Correspondents Dinner last year, and that was amazing. I really look forward to being back up there for one more dose of cold, also. I’m from Texas, so it’s already starting to heat up down here.
Who out there would you love to work with, who you have yet to work with? Is there a dream collaboration that you might be able to talk about?
I’ve been really digging Cody Jinks lately. I would love to collaborate with him at some point. I just love his voice so much. So country.
What’s your perception of the country music scene currently?
My perception is that I just have no perception. I just am going to continue making the music that makes me happy, which is country, the way I know it. I know there’s a hunger for steel guitar out there (based on what I hear from fans), so since I, too, love the whine of a steel, there’s a ton of it on my record (played by the incomparable Tommy Detamore).
Who are some of your major influences and why?
I love Merle and Loretta’s songwriting. They wrote and sang about what they knew. To me, that’s the most believable concept of music there is – just people singing and writing about the things they are the most familiar with. It’s easier to sell something that you know something about – or at least it seems like it.
Can you give us names of some bands we need to check out that we maybe haven’t seen yet? Who are you listening to the most these days?
My girl, Brennen Leigh, is pretty amazing. We’ve collaborated quite a bit in our 14 year history, and I’m inspired by her writing and singing.
What are some of your favorite venues to play and why?
I love a good festival. The festival in Hagerstown last year was amazing. The fans were so great and I loved the lineup. I really hope to get to do more of that this year. Also, in Texas, there’s a bar called the Redneck Country Club that is pretty bad-ass. It’s run very well, and the food is amazing.
What do you think is the most perfect song ever written and why?
“I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight” by Chris Wall, but also recorded on my new record. I have always thought that since I heard it. It’s a nice twist on the title – what you think it’s gonna be about, it isn’t. I also didn’t change the gender because it’s a song that’s perfect, and why change something that’s that good? So I left it as is. The melody is also top notch.
And, finally, what can we expect from your upcoming show at The Blue Side?
Well , you will definitely be getting some new songs off my new record and some surprises, too.