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Sunny Sweeney Chats with the Examiner

June 23, 2012

Read the original article, from Examiner.com, here. Text by Kevin Yeanoplos.

When celebrated singer-sonnetwriter Billy Shakespeare scripted, “The stars above us govern our conditions,” he may have been onto something – or it just may have been, ahem, much ado about nothing. Now I don’t know if what Billy the Bard wrote was right, but if it was, the gifted Sunny Sweeney can thank her lucky stars for one heckuva 2012.

Less than halfway through the year, it’s already been a career – and life – changer for the acclaimed singer-songwriter. The rising country star kicked off the new year with a new husband and an ever-growing horde of new fans – courtesy of a pair of dazzling albums and a sizzling live show.

Sweeney’s high-gear year continued in April with a blistering Mane Stage set to open Day 2 of country music’s premier festival, Stagecoach 2012. The talented Texan cemented her status as a rising superstar with songs from her latest album, Concrete. She thrilled the enthusiastic crowd with the bold and brazen “If I Could,” the raucous “Staying’s Worse Than Leaving,” and the delectably spiteful “You Don't Know Your Husband Like I Do.”

When celebrated singer-sonnetwriter Billy Shakespeare scripted, “The stars above us govern our conditions,” he may have been onto something – or it just may have been, ahem, much ado about nothing. Now I don’t know if what Billy the Bard wrote was right, but if it was, the gifted Sunny Sweeney can thank her lucky stars for one heckuva 2012.

Less than halfway through the year, it’s already been a career – and life – changer for the acclaimed singer-songwriter. The rising country star kicked off the new year with a new husband and an ever-growing horde of new fans – courtesy of a pair of dazzling albums and a sizzling live show.

Sweeney’s high-gear year continued in April with a blistering Mane Stage set to open Day 2 of country music’s premier festival, Stagecoach 2012. The talented Texan cemented her status as a rising superstar with songs from her latest album, Concrete. She thrilled the enthusiastic crowd with the bold and brazen “If I Could,” the raucous “Staying’s Worse Than Leaving,” and the delectably spiteful “You Don't Know Your Husband Like I Do.” Advertisement

Barely pausing to catch her breath, Sweeney has been one of the main reasons for the success of this summer’s 2012 Country Throwdown Tour with Gary Allan, Josh Thompson, Rodney Atkins, Eric Paslay and Justin Moore. And even more astoundingly, she is somehow working on her next album – while logging a bunch of frequent tire miles on a tour bus.

Now some of you may find all of this a little hard to believe – but not this music fan. Sweeney shared a little secret with me as we chatted recently.

“I don’t ever settle for anything,” she confessed. “So if somethin’ happens, I want somethin’ else. ‘Cause you never quit having goals. If you quit having goals then you should probably reconsider what you’re doing.”

While Sweeney considered other life avenues – even trying stand-up comedy for a time – that was then and music is now. And there was never really any question that it would be country music.

“All I learned growing up was that. We didn’t even know other radio stations. My parents always listened to country. So I didn’t really have an option (laughing).”

And while a career in country music may have been a given for Sweeney, she has never taken it for granted, continuing to grow and develop.

“I think that just naturally you progress. As an artist, your sound changes. Or you’ll have a band member quit and then you might want to try somethin’ else. It just evolves. I don’t think there’s any formula. It just happens.”

“And people that are fans of my first record may be like, ‘Oh, this one isn’t as twangy.’ Well, neither is my band. That’s not the kind of music I like doing anymore. I have a lap steel in my band now, not just a steel guitar. So it makes it more rockin’. It’s more fun to sing.”

After listening to Sweeney’s lively lyrics, it seems that she has just as much fun as a composer. She spoke candidly about her approach to songwriting.

“Some songs are not about me at all. Some songs are about my sister or my friends or my mom. I make them sound autobiographical. So the person listening to it can go, ‘Oh my God, that’s like me.’ It is an experience that I had if somebody told me about it.”

There’s no arguing with her success. Her first single from Concrete, 2010’s “From a Table Away,” became her first charting record when it debuted at No. 58 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, later peaking in the chart’s Top 10. Concrete produced two other charting singles in 2011 with “Drink Myself Single” and “Staying's Worse Than Leaving.”

And as for that last song, Sunny Sweeney was obviously not writing about one of her exceptional shows…

There are still a few chances left on the 2012 Country Throwdown Tour to see for yourself. And here they are.

June 22 Sioux Falls, SD Sioux Empire Fairgrounds

June 23 Rockford, IL Davis Park

June 28 Madison, WI Atwood Summerfest

July 01 Norfolk, NE Divots Conference Center

July 08 Nashville, TN The Woods Of Fontanel

Aug 29 Allentown, PA Allentown Fairgrounds

Related Stories: Republic Nashville, Sunny Sweeney

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