Live Review: Sunny Sweeney in Charlotte

Charlotte definitely “got Sweenered” on Saturday night at Puckett’s Farm Equipment…

Sunny Sweeney? Never heard of him. A funny line for those who have been following Sweeney for sometime as the play on her name often elicits thoughts of an outlaw, independent artist writing about drinking, drugs and partying. Sweeney does all of the above and can entertain with the best of artists, proving it on Saturday night at Puckett’s Farm Equipment in Charlotte in front of a sold out crowd.

North Carolina native Jonathan Parker got the night started with an hour long set of original songs and an homage to Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson with “Mama Tried” and “Shotgun Willie,” respectively. A perfect start to the night ahead, opening for Sweeney who arrived in Charlotte just hours before her scheduled set.

Sweeney took to the stage and immediately garnered the crowd’s attention, which she wouldn’t relinquish all night. Telling tales behind a few songs including an embarrassing story of meeting country superstar, Vince Gill, before she was invited to spend some time writing at his cabin just outside of Nashville. Describing her first two encounters in nervous context then coming full circle with Gill taking Sweeney and her band out to breakfast just a few days ago.

From “Trophy,” the title track off of Sweeney’s latest album to older hits like “From A Table Away” and “Drink Myself Single,” the Texas singer was entertaining and thoroughly impressed with the crowd singing right along with her word for word. She introduced some new music with “You Can Tie Me Up (but You Can’t Tie Me Down),” which was not a favorite of her mother’s according to Sweeney but better than the cleverly named “Whiskey Richard”.

From the stage Sweeney recognized a number of fans in attendance with shirts or hats supporting her friends Cody Jinks and Ward Davis, who she has been recently on tour with in the southeast and has a few more upcoming dates with the addition of Tennessee Jet, though not here in North Carolina.

Although the capacity crowd was guaranteed a return from Sweeney, who genuinely seemed taken aback by those in attendance, at one point saying, “how do ya’ll know this?”.

Sunny Sweeney? Never heard of him.

Yes we have and if you recognize the names Jinks and Davis but not Sweeney then do yourself a favor and immediately acquire all of her albums. One of the most talented and entertaining singer/songwriters in the business with abundant success and a commitment to independent Texas country.

Expect another North Carolina date in her future and you too can sing along when she returns.

Sunny Sweeney: Real Raw Emotion

Sunny Sweeney released her fourth album, “Trophy” one year ago and the world is better for it…

Sunny Sweeney manages to tell stories on opposite ends of the emotional spectrum with absolute attention to detail, while conveying her lyrics into real feelings for her listeners. For whatever mood you find yourself in there’s a Sunny Sweeney song to lean on for relation.

Ready to party, there’s a song for that. Feeling down, pick one because there’s plenty. Drinking, covered. Scorned, also covered. Depressed, she’s got you. In ‘Bottle by My Bed,’ Sweeney breaches a topic that’s not only rarely discussed in the open but there it is on her latest album for all the world to hear.

Trophy,” which was released just over a year ago this March is full of emotion and has brought Sweeney many new fans. Touring across the country with live performances in a variety of venues and countless miles covered, Sweeney continues to build her fan base by taking her music to the masses.

Sweeney told Rolling Stone last year about her willingness and openness for hitting all topics to which anyone can relate.

“Anybody that knows anything about my music knows I don’t necessarily shy away from subjects. I want to think that this is just an extension of that. It’s where I am and what I’m going through and there are other people going through these things as well: Wanting their marriage to be perfect, struggling with this or that. That’s what life is. Each record answers a little question for the time in your life where you are.”

Sweeney feels it’s her job as a writer to evoke emotions from those who she seeks to entertain. Whether getting to see her live or just listening in your car, her willingness to draw on those heartfelt emotions and ability to tap into real feelings is apparent.

Beginning with ‘Pass the Pain‘ and through every one of the ten songs which comprise “Trophy“, her mission has been accomplished.