Acoustic Syndicate Releases First Recording in 7 Years: “Sunny”
Trail-blazing Band Acoustic Syndicate Releases First Recording in 7 Years: “Sunny”
If there’s anything to equal the excitement of a hot new artist making their recording debut, it’s the return of a groundbreaking, influential act that’s long been absent from the studio. Case in point: “Sunny,” the stunning Organic Records debut of Acoustic Syndicate, the famed western North Carolina ensemble that’s helped to pave the way for generations of freewheeling, bluegrass-flavored jam bands. Marking their first new recorded music in seven years — an eternity in today’s world — “Sunny” offers undeniable proof that the trailblazing group has as firm a grasp as ever on the unique, compelling blend of rock, folk, bluegrass and other southern roots music styles that first brought them acclaim a quarter of a century ago.
An emotionally — and musically — complex work, “Sunny” unwinds at a relaxed pace as it serves up a classic tale of a lover whose compelling commitment to the narrator is balanced by an equally undeniable need to roam. Written by singer Steve “Big Daddy” McMurry, the song works not only as a story of a relationship, but as a multi-level, multi-layered metaphor, serving as a harbinger of the renewal that comes with every spring and, at the same time, as a hopeful acknowledgment that the long year of the pandemic may, at last, be coming to an end — as well as an artistically framed announcement of Acoustic Syndicate’s re-emergence as a recording act.
Still, as rich as the reverberations are, “Sunny” is plenty powerful on an immediate, visceral level. “I’ve had the melody for ‘Sunny’ in my head for years, along with a basic concept for the song… and even some lyrics,” notes McMurry. “But it took on an entirely new existence as soon as I dug it back up and dusted her off. The song quickly evolved into something distinctly different, lyrically, from my original idea. A new story immediately unfolded…and apparently wanted out. It was one of those Willie Nelson ‘napkin on a bar’ kind of scenarios. ‘Sunny’ literally finished herself in one hour. There is a specific story line behind the song, and it goes a little deeper than you might think,” he says, before adding with a smile, “but I probably shouldn’t give it away.”
With its shimmering acoustic guitar licks, restrained yet insistent banjo, stubbornly grooving bass, subtly rolling percussion, supportive fiddle from labelmate Lyndsay Pruett (Jon Stickley Trio) and, above all, iconic voice of “Big Daddy,” “Sunny” offers a long-awaited and welcome reintroduction to one of the most influential and widely beloved pioneering groups exemplifying the interplay of musical currents found in Acoustic Syndicate’s western North Carolina home.
Listen to “Sunny” HERE.
About Acoustic Syndicate
Acoustic Syndicate is a musical institution. Since 1994, their unique blend of bluegrass instruments, rock sensibilities, and conscious songwriting has inspired a generation of musicians. Through 7 albums, thousands of performances, and tens-of-thousands of miles, Acoustic Syndicate has long been heralded as one of the important influences on the modern roots-music revival.
Always a family affair, the band is fronted by Steve McMurry on guitar and vocals, and his cousin Bryon McMurry on banjo, guitar, and vocals. Their signature three-part blood harmony is rounded out by Bryon’s brother Fitz on drums and vocals. Multi-instrumentalist Jay Sanders holds down the bass with deep pocket and style.
“Their modern take on traditional bluegrass and rock values culminates in a glimmering, driving sound rich with acoustic textures and glowing vocals,” said Paul Kerr, of JamBase.
If there was ever a band that could capture the universal truths of life from the roots up, it’s Acoustic Syndicate
PREMIERE: DRUNKEN HEARTS cover “Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town” (Pearl Jam) [LISTEN]
PREMIERE: LISTEN to Drunken Hearts cover of the Pearl Jam classic, “Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town.” With Lindsay Lou, Andy Thorn, Silas Herman.
The 21st Annual Romp Music Festival will take place June 26 – 29, 2024 in Owensboro, Kentucky. This year’s initial lineup features Dierks Bently, along with Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway and Leftover Salmon.
The 16th Gem & Jam Festival is a 3-day music, art, performance, and gem & mineral festival at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson, Arizona.
’90s MINUTE MIXTAPES are a throwback to the art form of the mixtape that peaked in the 1990s. These playlists span genres and eras, and open doors to new musical journeys.
Strings & Sol 2023 exceeded every single expectation exponentially. There is something beyond magical that happens on that beach in Mexico that is intangible.
Gasparilla Music Festival announced the initial lineup for the Tampa, FL festival – February 16-18 at Julian B Lane Riverfront Park.
VOTE for the 2023 FESTY AWARDS – the best in live music and festivals from 2023. VOTE NOW!
Majestic trees create a dramatic backdrop on the shores of Lake Wailes Park where the annual Orange Blossom Revue is held. This year’s headliners included JJ Grey and Mofro, Molly Tuttle & the Golden Highway, and The Wood Brothers, along with many other incredible Americana, Rock, and Bluegrass musicians.
The Red Rocks Schedule for 2024. We will update the 2024 Red Rocks Concert Calendar as announcements are made. Stay tuned!