You’ll be fine and dandy…
True to her Texas honky-tonk roots, Sunny Sweeney has never been a singer of what you’d call “soft” country songs — the kind you might turn to for easy comfort and or quiet Sunday afternoons with the family. Hell, you can tell just by the titles of her first two albums — Heartbreaker’s Hall of Fame and Concrete — that she reaches straight for the hard stuff. So when this woman sees fit to name her third album Provoked, you better believe she’s not about to start playing coy now. No, this is where the real hurtin’ starts, and Sweeney’s showing no mercy … least of all to herself.
Brennen Leigh is a songwriter, guitar player, mandolin player and singer whose to-the-point storytelling style has elevated her to cult status in Europe, Scandinavia, across the United States, South America and most notably in her home of Austin, Texas. It’s easy to see why she’s caught the ear of greats like legendary Lubbock fiddler Tommy Hancock (widely regarded as the godfather of West Texas music), who was quoted as saying of Leigh’s work; “It’s great to hear music that affects you on an intellectual level as well as makes you want to dance.”
Courtney Patton has spent the last few years building her lifelong passion into a real career. Touring steadily, writing constantly, and singing her heart out onstage and on record, she’s become a welcome discovery for listeners who’ve found their way to her sweet and soulful take on classic country music. Her first full-length record, Triggering A Flood, was released in May 2013 to regional acclaim and her 2015 follow-up So This Is Life is poised to make an even larger splash as her audience has expanded to corners all around the world. Her expansive voice, laced with deep Texas twang but bearing the influence of favorite songwriters from the ‘70s folk-rock scene all the way through the present day, gives new life to old themes of finding love and freedom where you can and trying to hold yourself together when it slips away. Since the release of Triggering A Flood, her music has taken her on tours through Europe and Canada as well as across the United States; she’s also toured and recorded with Jason Eady, a fellow keeper of the real-country-music flame that Patton wed in 2014. She’s also shared the stage with leading lights of the country-folk genre including Walt Wilkins, Bruce Robison, Jamie Lin Wilson, and Drew Kennedy, the latter of whom served as producer on So This Is Life. Indebted to the subtle depths of her favorite late-‘70s Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard records, it’s a perfect frame for Patton’s lyrical snapshots of heartache, longing, and love.
Jamie Lin Wilson
When describing Jamie Wilson’s voice, two aspects come to mind: that honeyed tenor twang that’s become known as one of the sweetest instruments in modern folk music, and that poignant, poetic, down-to-earth point of view she brings to her songwriting. The spotlight shines brighter than ever on both with Holidays & Wedding Rings, her January 2015 release, the first full-length solo album from one of brightest and busiest stars in her recent years amid the folk/Americana/independent country music scene.
An artist of singular talent and restless creativity, she broke into the Texas country/folk scene as one of the co-lead vocalists of the Gougers before the band gradually gave way to not only Wilson’s solo work (the fine EP “Dirty Blonde Hair” was released in 2010) but also higher-profile musical adventures with The Trishas, an all-female singer-songwriter band that has toured through some of the state and nation’s best venues. Scoring one of the best albums of 2012 with “High Wide & Handsome,” the Trishas lit up the genre for a few years while always leaving Wilson room for solo gigs, guest spots on over a dozen albums by now, and song-swaps with like-minded artists all over Texas and beyond.