Sweet Sunny South

If you go to a Sweet Sunny South concert, don't be surprised if you think you've stepped back in time. The group is dressed in clothing reminiscent of a bygone era and they use a single microphone when performing.

Why the nostalgic touch? Sweet Sunny South is an acoustic old-time bluegrass band that plays a blend of new and traditional music. They escort listeners down a windy path of historical journeys, beautiful ballads and rollicking fiddle tunes complete with a healthy dose of humor.

Southern Oregonians will have an opportunity to see and hear this Colorado-based band starting at 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 20 at Jefferson State Pub, 31B Water St., Ashland. The quartet has performed extensively throughout the West for the past six years. They have played at festivals throughout the West including: Wintergrass in Tacoma, WA; Four Corners Folk Festival, Pagosa, CO; Moab Folk Festival, UT; Pickin in the Pines, Flagstaff, AZ; and Scott Valley BG Fest, Etna, CA. They placed in the competition held at the RockyGrass band contest in both 2003 and 2004.

Sweet Sunny South has shared the stage with David Grisman and Del McCourey and were selected as an "Official Showcase Band" in the 2006 IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Awards. They have recorded four CDs of mostly original material. The band's 4 CD, Showtime" was released last month.

Banjo and mandolin player Bill Powers writes most of the band's songs. Cory Obert plays old-time fiddle, sometimes with a Cajun flare and sings a high tenor. Rob Miller also writes songs, plays the Martin D-28 guitar and sings lead and harmony. The newest member, Shelley Gray (aka "Laura Ingalls Wilder-n-Swingin") plays the 'ol kay Bass, sings, hollers, and puts the "Sweet" in Sweet Sunny South.

If you had to categorize Sweet Sunny South, you'd have to say that they are in the tradition of folks like The Stanley Brothers and The Carter Family. And if you had to trace their influences, you can hear more contemporary sounds reminiscent of The Freighthoppers, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, The Wilders and The Reeltime Travelers.

Cover charge is $8. Call 482-7718.

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