I write about country music. Mostly.

Loretta Lynn’s advice to write what you know comes through in Sunny Sweeney’s songs about road life, love, heartbreak, and a yearning for motherhood

A Facebook post by by local country singer Angela Meyer reminded me that the Texas based singer/songwriter Sunny Sweeney was in town tonight. Well, not exactly in my town but about an hour away at the John Taylor-led venue Creative Commons in Bishop Hill, Illinois. Dan and I made a last-minute decision to scrap dinner plans and head east to the show. It was worth the trip.

Sunny Sweeney is a pro with a deep bucket of songs. She shared 15 or 16 good ones tonight in a 90 minute acoustic set backed by guitarist Harley Husbands. Dan and I walked into the room just after the show started so I might have missed her first song but here’s the set I heard:

-Staying’s Worse Than Leaving

-Please be San Antone

-Better Bad Idea


-Backhanded Compliment (clever take on keeping foot out of mouth)

-Poet’s Prayer

-Momma’s Wine

-A Song Can’t Fix Everything (Melancholy song that was recorded with backing vocals by tall Paul Cauthen)

-Easy as Hello

-Bottle By My Bed (Sad take on desire to have a baby.)

-In My Own Lane (Maybe a new song -couldn’t find a reference.)

-Grow Old With Me (Sings to her dog Doug)

-Leaving is My Middle Name

-A Table Away (Peaked at #10 on Billboard’s Hot Country songs in 2010)

-Hold Me One More Time (Missed title)

A couple interesting notes from stories she sprinkled into her set:

Loretta Lynn once called Sunny Sweeney to thank her for filling in at a show in Texas. During the call Sunny asked Ms. Loretta for songwriting advice. “Write what you know,” replied the superstar. After listening carefully to Sunny’s songs I think it safe to conclude she took the advice.

Check out Sunny on SiriusXM Willie’s Roadhouse. She hosts a show Sunny Side Up from 6 AM to noon every weekday.

Sunny Sweeney will be featured in a new American Currents exhibit starting March 7 at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. That’s pretty cool.

It was great to hear live music country music and finally attend a show put on by John Taylor. We’ve known each other as Facebook friends for quite awhile, swapping notes about artists or shows — we are both big Morgan Myles fans. But somehow I have never been to one of his shows until tonight. So glad we went and I’m sure we’ll go back.

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