Sunny Sweeney to bring country to M-Shop

Sweeney is influenced by Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves.

Courtesy of SUB

Sweeney is influenced by Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves.


Country singer-songwriter Sunny Sweeney will be making the next stop on her tour to perform at the Maintenance Shop Saturday, March 3 at 8 p.m.

Sweeney’s debut album, “Heartbreaker’s Hall of Fame” was released back in 2006 then again in 2007, reissued by the label Big Machine Records who she has since then left. Today, she is signed with the Thirty Tigers record label. In March 2017, she released her latest album, “Trophy.”

Sweeney’s music has always held a strong connection to life experiences and this is exemplified in her soul searching yet witty lyrics. Her songs are a variety of life stories wrapped up in brazen, mature and sometimes sarcastic words that are set to her soprano with a noticeably southern twang. She puts a retro spin to classic country music while staying true to it.

Her fourth full studio album, “Trophy,” digs even deeper than her past albums and addresses many complex and sensitive topics such as divorce, suicide, and even her difficulty to bear a child. The process of penning and producing this album has led her to make certain self-discoveries and grow as a person. If she could say anything to herself a few years ago she says, “Run! Kidding. No, I would say don’t take yourself so seriously. You’re playing music for a living.”

This album and her previous ones have been written with other writers like, Lori McKenna, Jay Clementi and Caitlyn Smith.

Sweeney prefers to work with others when writing and views collaborations as a great way to explore songwriting. When writing, she tends to wonder whether or not a certain experience is solely her own or if others have gone through something similar. She then writes to let others know that they are not alone.

“I like telling stories I feel people can relate to. If someone says, ‘I feel like you were in my head when you wrote that,’ then I feel I’ve done my job,” she says.

Tour life is not new to Sweeney, being a veteran performer. Her favorite part of this tour so far has been her stops in Florida.

“Key west was amazing. So gorgeous and such clear water. And the company we kept wasn’t too bad either [Cody Jinks, Ward Davis and Bands, and crew],” she says.

On the other hand, the energy needed to tour has definitely taken a toll on her sleep schedule. Sweeney mentions that as soon as tour ends she will be relaxing as best she can before she leaves for tour again.

“We have time at home. Over five weeks, I think. Then back out at it. I do know I will be sleeping a lot when I’m home,” she says.

Sweeney looks forward to coming back to Iowa to perform. “I can’t wait to see [my audience] and to play country music in Iowa! I always enjoy being there,” she says.

Iowa State student Tyler Richton will be joining Sweeney on Saturday to perform as well. The Agricultural Business major and country singer-songwriter will be playing with his band The High Bank Boys.

We spoke with Richton back in November about how he balances time between school and music.

“At this point in our lives, it feels like something that is more of chance to get away from the school environment and for us to just be ourselves, and I think that’s kind of what keeps us going,” Richton said.

While Richton is the head of the band, he owes much of the group’s success to the rest of the ensemble. 

“I’m very fortunate to have the great group of guys that I do because there are a lot of people in this world that wouldn’t make those kind of sacrifices,” Richton said.

Tickets are $8 with a student ID and $12 for the public, with a $2 increase on the day of show. Tickets can be purchased at the M-Shop box office or online vie Midwestix.