Kentucky Duo Sundy Best crafts music that re-imagines the timeless classic rock of the ‘70s and ‘80s. With Nick Jamerson on guitar and and Kris Bentley on cajon, they modernize it in their own unique way by borrowing hints of country and bluegrass. Offstage, the pair are lifelong friends, college athletes and dog-lovers; onstage the musical duo delivers something wholly fresh and original, blending their best influences with personal music histories. We caught up with Kris to talk about music, performing and life on the road.
NYC Country Music Lovers: Tell us about your background.
Sundy Best: We’re both from a small town in eastern Kentucky called Prestonsburg. We grew up together and got into music at an early age. Pretty much the only place we could play back then was in church.
NYC Country Music Lovers: How did you get into songwriting & recording?
Sundy Best: We got into songwriting because we’ve always been passionate about music. The bands and artists we’re influenced by all wrote their own music so it seemed like the route we should take. We were lucky enough to come up with some songs people dug and it’s just grown from there.
NYC Country Music Lovers: Who are your musical influences?
Sundy Best: Both of us grew up listening to The Altman brothers, The Eagles, Tom Petty, Van Morrison, Jackson Brown, Bob Segar – people like that. There was also some bluegrass in there and lots of other stuff. We still listen to a lot of that stuff today.
NYC Country Music Lovers: How would you describe your own unique sound?
Sundy Best: You know, we just let everybody else describe it. I guess you could call it Appalachia-delic which is a cross between Appalachian and psychedelic[laughs]. I just made that up.
NYC Country Music Lovers: Do you prefer recording or performing?
Sundy Best: They really are two different things. You get stuff out of one that you don’t get out of the other. You can never beat a live performance and the interaction between the crowd and what we are doing up on stage. It’s something that can never be matched. At the same time, the studio is a really fun place for us to be where we can really flesh out all the songs we’ve written. We just love music and we love the music we’re making. We are really passionate about it. Whether it’s playing live in front of people or recording for people to hear tomorrow, it’s an enjoyable process and we are very lucky to get to do what we do.
NYC Country Music Lovers: What’s the most memorable show you have played?
Sundy Best: It’s been a great summer. We’ve played a lot of festivals and it’s hard to just pick out one show. Of course, playing The Opry is really special. We’ve actually played there 6 times in this last year. We’ve been fortunate enough to play some great shows that we’ll never forget. Each one is its own thing. It’s always special whether there’s 250 people there or 3,000.
NYC Country Music Lovers: What’s life like on the road?
Sundy Best: We are really good at being on the road. It’s a lot of fun with Nick, our road manager Rick and me. I think we are the only band in the world that travels with more merchandise than gear. We have a Guitar and a Cajon which takes practically no time to set up – but then it takes 45 minutes to get the merchandise set up. It’s like we’re Duck Dynasty with all that stuff. We could have our own department in Walmart.
NYC Country Music Lovers: What was the process of putting together your latest album “Bring Up The Sun”
Sundy Best: We got together this time last year. It was our first time recording in Nashville and only our second album. Our first album we did on our own here in Lexington Kentucky with Coleman Saunders who helped produce it. Working on “Bring Up The Sun” was very different and we got some really great musicians in to play. It was produced by R.S Field who’s producing the album we are working on right now. We have a great relationship with him. It sounds cliché but everybody we’ve worked with feels like it’s meant to be. Everything has been so organic and smooth.
NYC Country Music Lovers: What’s coming up next for Sundy Best?
Sundy Best: The new album is pretty much almost done. I can’t say too much about it but it’s a little bigger and I can say I’ll be playing drums as well as Cajon. Also, we are getting ready to announce our first West Coast round of shows.
Learn more about Sundy Best on their Official Website.