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Sunny Sweeney

Idioma disponible: inglés
A brassy country singer whose retro style garnered comparisons to singers like Natalie Maines and Kasey Chambers, Sunny Sweeney is a native Texan, possessed of an expressive reedy contralto; it is perfectly suited for everything from honky tonk to country rock to bluegrass as evidenced by her 2006 debut, Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame. 2011's Concrete placed at 21 on the Top 200. 2014's Provoked was a rootsier honky tonk set that cracked the top 200 and the country albums Top 20. 2017's Trophy was more introspective and moody; it placed high on the folk and indie charts. In 2019, Bob Seger personally invited her to open his farewell tour. She returned to studio recording in 2022 with Married Alone. Sweeney is from Longview, Texas along the Sabine River on the eastern side of the state. From childhood on, she was a gutsy, musically inclined girl, who was just a tad unpredictable.She began singing shortly after learning to talk. During her senior year of high school, she busted into choir class and demanded to be allowed to sing Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" in the school's year-end show. Sweeney, who didn't even belong to the class, proceeded to belt out the song, much to the choir teacher's surprise. She got the spot in the year-end show, but didn't pursue music formally after she graduated. Instead, she moved to New York and tried her hand at acting. She performed on the improv comedy circuit and juggled a series of short-lived day jobs (dog walker, nanny, and waitress among them) to make ends meet. Sweeney eventually returned to Texas and hooked up with an improv troupe in Austin. It was at this point that she started taking her talents as a musician seriously. Encouraged by her fellow comedians and particularly her stepfather, who'd tried to teach her some guitar chords when she was a kid, Sweeney picked up a guitar and started practicing. She played her first real gig at Austin's Carousel Lounge in 2004, went on to nail down weekly spots at various honky tonks throughout the city, and managed to go on a small European tour soon after that. It was at this point that she managed to grab the attention of various music critics in the Austin area, and in 2005 the Austin Music Pundits named Sweeney one of the city's most notable local acts. She landed a record deal with Big Machine soon after that, and her debut, Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame, was released in 2007. Three singles were chosen from that album, "If I Could," "Ten Years Pass," and "East Texas Pines"; none of them charted. Sweeney left Big Machine and eventually signed to Republic Nashville. In 2010 she released "From a Table Away" as both a single and a video; it hit the number ten spot on the U.S. country chart, becoming the highest-charting Billboard debut single from a female country artist in four years. "Staying's Worse Than Leaving," which was also accompanied by a video, was the second pre-release single. Her full-length debut for the label, Concrete, produced by Brett Beavers, was released in August of that same year. It netted yet another Top 40 single, "Drink Myself Single." Sweeney left Big Machine in 2012. Interestingly, she was nominated in the Top New Female Artist category at 2013's Academy of Country Music (ACM) awards, and signed to Thirty Tigers shortly thereafter. Her first single for her new label was "Bad Girl Phase." It didn't chart but served as a pre-release for her label debut, Provoked, produced by Luke Wooten. The set was issued in August of 2014, peaking at number 20 on the country chart. Trophy, her second album for Thirty Tigers, followed in March 2017. The moodier LP included co-writes for Sweeney with Lori McKenna, Buddy Owens, and Caitlyn Smith, plus a trio of high-profile guests (Trisha Yearwood, Ray Benson, and Jack Ingram) on backing vocals. The set didn't chart at country but did quite well on both the folk and indie charts. In 2019, Detroit rock icon Bob Seger, a huge fan of Americana music, personally invited Sweeney to open his national farewell tour. In November 2020 she released the digital Recorded Live at the Machine Shop Recording Studio, cut at the famed Austin music room in front of an invited studio audience. She returned to studio recording with 2022's Married Alone. The 12-song Paul Cauthen-produced set featured Sweeney as co-writer on almost all tracks, Cauthen appeared with her on "A Song Can't Fix Everything"; Vince Gill sang harmony on the charting title-track single.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo
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