Sunny Sweeney performs at NY State Fair (Exclusive Interview)

Sunny Sweeney performs at NY State Fair
Interview by Michael Aaron Gallagher

Sunny Sweeney
Sunny Sweeney
Country music fans will have an opportunity to see rising star Sunny Sweeney in Central New York, as she brings her unique southern blend of classic honky-tonk style with a modern country sound to the New York State Fair, opening for Grammy Award winning country music group Lady Antebellum at the Grandstand on Sept. 2.

Listed as “One to Watch in 2011” by “Country Weekly,” AOL and “Maxim,” Sweeney is best known for her songs “From a Table Away” and “Staying’s Worse Than Leaving.”

Her new album, “Concrete” will be released prior to the New York State Fair concert on Aug. 23 by the Republic Nashville record label.

“I am very influenced by traditional country music,” Sweeney said. “My first record was more of a honky tonk band sounding record. This one is still very, very country. But it has a different producer. It has a little bit more of a modern sound on it. The songs are still extremely country and the content is really country… I listen to it and go, ‘Oh my God, this is so country. It’s so awesome.'”

In addition to being a country singer, she is also a musician and songwriter.

“I play almost every day,” she said. “I practice during the day, before we play – wherever I can find a chair.”

Her favorite song to perform on stage right now is “Drink Myself Single” off her new album.

Even though she has a distinctly southern sound, Sweeney doesn’t notice a big difference between country fans down South and those up North.

“I play every show how I want to sing with the stories I want to tell. Fans are fans and if they dig your music then they’re in to it. Down South there might be more cowboy hats,” she said. “I think fans are loyal no matter where you go.”

In her first concert in the Syracuse area, Sweeney will share the stage with Lady Antebellum (whose free performance last year brought a record-setting crowd to Chevy Court).

“Oh gosh, I like a lot of their songs,” Sweeney said. “I love ‘Hello, World.’ The video really slammed it home for me.”

Sunny Sweeney performs at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 2 at the New York State Fair grandstand. Tickets are $45 or $35.

“I just hope everybody comes out,” Sweeney said. “It’s going to be so much fun.”

Copyright 2012 by Michael Aaron Gallagher
Photograph courtesy of Big Machine Records

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