Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame

Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame

5.0 2
by Sunny Sweeney
     
 

It's become so fashionable in country circles to dump on Nashville that it's refreshing to find someone defending the gifted pickers, "cowboys, drunks and Christians / mostly white and black and blue," who follow their dreams to Music City and populate the once-plentiful studios on 16th Avenue. So it is with an impressive young East Texas country thrush, Sunny Sweeney… See more details below

Overview

It's become so fashionable in country circles to dump on Nashville that it's refreshing to find someone defending the gifted pickers, "cowboys, drunks and Christians / mostly white and black and blue," who follow their dreams to Music City and populate the once-plentiful studios on 16th Avenue. So it is with an impressive young East Texas country thrush, Sunny Sweeney, who offers a bittersweet homage, "16th Avenue," to close out her remarkable debut album. Folks will hear a lot of Natalie Maines in Sweeney -- both share a steely twang and a cocksure attitude, and both know how to steer a song straight to a listener's heart. Sweeney takes her country straight, no chaser. She's backed by a top-notch band of acoustic and electric components (including James Talley's longtime running buddy Tommy Detamore, contributing some potent pedal and lap steel and dobro work), keeping a hard edge on the honky-tonk spirit and most assuredly disdaining '80s-rock territory. There isn't a weak song on this long-player, and good variety to boot. "The Next Big Nothing" is a stomping, fiddle-fired workout; "Here Lately," a loping, mid-tempo breakup song with a killer chorus; "Mama's Opry," a rustic, shuffling tribute to a mother for whom music was a life force that she willed to her daughter. Jim Lauderdale makes two memorable appearances, penning the captivating heart-tugger "Refresh My Memory" and sitting in on duet vocals for his bustling, country swing-style lover's plea "Please Be San Antone," a Lauderdale classic that Sweeney sings the heck out of. Warbling nary a false note nor making a false move, the gifted Sweeney reveals herself to be the biggest heartbreaker of all.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael Berick
Sunny Sweeney's debut disc is a refreshing slice of traditional honky tonk enlivened with a dollop of rock & roll energy. Sweeney comes off as a small town girl, full of charm and sass who gets up to perform with a local band. The differences are that she has a real talent for singing and a knack for selecting tunes. Hailing from the musically fertile East Texas, Sweeney's singing contains a hard Texas twang, which gives her voice a true sense of character. The young singer displays a veteran's skill in choosing her tunes. There are a couple tracks from ace Nashville songsmith Jim Lauderdale, who also duets with her on the Lucinda Williams-ish Keith Sykes-penned "Lavender Blue." She flashes her grit on the rocking cover of Libbi Bosworth's "East Texas Pines" and a rapid-fire take on Tim Carroll's "If I Could." She also more than holds her own on two of the better-known covers, the old Lacy J. Dalton hit "16th Avenue" and Iris DeMent's lovely "Mama's Opry." The latter tune, as well as Audrey Auld's marvelously self-deprecating number "Next Big Nothing" match up well with Sweeney's small town Texas gal personality. Sweeney's own tunes also deal with her themes of small town life and relationship troubles. On the memorable "Ten Years Pass," she revisits her old hometown and her old flame. The title track concerns an old high school boyfriend who "is in the heartbreaker's hall of fame...as today's main honoree." Her third original, "Slow Swinging Western Tunes," another tale of love gone bad, recalls the songs of Kasey Chambers, one of her heroes. Sweeney, who helped to produce this disc, shows an ample amount of confidence and composure on her first full-length. She has a strong idea of who she is as a singer and performer, and her instincts are proven correct on this impressive effort. It's not just an easy pun to proclaim that Sunny Sweeney has a bright future.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/06/2007
Label:
Big Machine Records
UPC:
0857787001566
catalogNumber:
156602
Rank:
33973

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sunny Sweeney   Primary Artist,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Skip Edwards   Organ,Hammond Organ
Ted Roddy   Harmonica
Gary Wayne Claxton   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Casper Rawls   Acoustic Guitar,Hi String
Bobby Flores   Fiddle,Mandolin
Tommy Detamore   Dobro,Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
D.B. Harris   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
David Carroll   Electric Bass
Tom Lewis   Percussion,Drums
Terje Kinn   Banjo
Lars Albrecht   Electric Guitar
Eddie Perez   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

G. Griffin   Composer
E. Mason   Composer
Greg Vanderpool   Cover Design
Tommy Detamore   Producer,Engineer,Mastering,Audio Production
T. J. R. Carroll   Composer
Sunny Sweeney   Producer
Tom Lewis   Producer

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