The Texas country music scene is very much a man's world in this day and age; however, not only can Sunny Sweeney compete with these men -- she can beat 'em. She's not just another pretty face. Sweeney is also an immensely talented singer, songwriter, and musician. But let's face it, she's a cute girl. Her good looks just add to an already incredible force to be reckoned with -- pretty face, great smile, killer sense of humor. So is she as amazing as she sounds on paper? In one word: YES…and then some.
Having grown up in east Texas, the musical influence is pretty obvious - Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks. Sweeney sounds a little like Maines and, in true Chicks fashion, co-wrote 7 of her album's 10 tracks. She has named Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard as some of her biggest musical heroes, and you can definitely hear their influence throughout this collection.
The record kicks off with its latest release to radio, "Drink Myself Single." In comparison to the album's first two singles, this is a different sound than what casual Sweeney fans are used to hearing. It's fun and sassy. And if country radio knows what they're doing, they will embrace this one.
Most fans probably first heard Sunny when the leadoff single, "From a Table Away," started getting spins at radio and plenty of airtime on CMT and GAC. It's written from the perspective of "the other woman," which is not often done in country music (aside from Sugarland's monster hit, "Stay"). "Amy," another song on the record, is written from this perspective as well. She knows that her lover is still in love with his wife, but she can't help but feel that she could give him what he deserves. It's a bit of an apology, if you will, as she says she will take a step back and leave the picture if the wife truly loves him. But she's also pleading the wife to please let him go if she is no longer happy in the relationship.
"Staying's Worse Than Leaving" was the album's second single. This is the song that really attracted me to Sweeney's voice and the way she delivers a song. It's about being in an awful relationship that is making your life miserable. It may be hard to give up, but staying in a loveless marriage is far more painful than leaving.
"Helluva Heart" is very Miranda Lambert-esque. This is a track that I think would make country's original redneck woman, Loretta Lynn, very proud. And then there's the album's closing song, "Fall For Me," which is definitely a standout for me. It just solidifies the fact that this girl has "future Opry star" written all over her.
If you like country music in its truest, purest form, you are going to adore this record from start to finish. I haven't been able to stop listening to it. I see big things in store for this girl and I can't wait to see her career blossom. Well done, Sweeney. Well done.
Sunny has spent much of the year on tour with Brad Paisley, but check her out online to see where she's heading next.