SXSW Friday Record Reviews

Sunny Sweeney

Trophy (Thirty Tigers)

SXSW Friday Record Reviews

Best ACL Fest scheduling outside of the Cure and Depeche Mode on consecutive nights in 2013 occurred last October, when Kacey Musgraves stair-stepped into Margo Price early one Sunday. Nashville queens, the first one trad Texan and the latter "indie" Illinois, their yin-yang repped womanhood in contemporary country like the original rise of Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. Sunny Sweeney pursues Musgraves' mainstreaming with some righteous Wynette twang, yet does so on Price's budget and initial profile. The Austinite triumphs on all counts on her fourth LP, a master class in songwriting, sequencing, production, hooks, believability, you name it. Perfect arc, from the opening barroom scene ("Pass the Pain"), adjoining carnality ("Better Bad Idea"), and lubricant ("Pills") to remorse (no baby "Bottle by My Bed"), lonesome blues ("I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight"), and finally marital resignation ("Grow Old With Me") – even if it means beating some other woman's time ("Trophy"). Subliminal banjo, hot wire guitar, fiddle bumps, campfire harp, and one creeping bassline settle into clear, warm pockets of sound and even a would-be Lone Star anthem ("Nothing Wrong With Texas"). Already a C&W best-of, 2017. (Fri. 17, Maggie Mae's, 8pm)

****

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Sunny Sweeney, SXSW Music 2017

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