Sundy Best crafts music that re-imagines timeless classic rock of the ‘70s and ‘80s – think the Eagles and the smart, whiskey-voiced lyrics of Tom Petty and Bob Seger. With Nick on guitar and Kris on cajon, Sundy Best takes that sound, modernizes it in their own unique way by borrowing hints of country and bluegrass, to make it personal. 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 set out to do this,” says Kris. “We write our songs, play and sing; it’s what we’ve done, it’s what we’ll do. We want to create something that will stand the test of time, like Seger or the Eagles. We don’t really have a standard genre. If people want to call us country, let them. But with Bring Up the Sun, you’ll get a really good sense of what we’re doing in our style of country music, and it’s got ‘70s classic rock sounds, with a little pop, rock, and bluegrass.”
Sundy Best began as a high energy Lexington, Kentucky bar act. As kids coming up together in Eastern Kentucky, they played music in church and formed their own band in high school.
“Growing up, my earliest memories are of my dad playing and singing, and listening to records with him,” says Kris. He played drums along with Dad, and the cajon remains his instrument – part of what gives Sundy Best its distinctive sound. All songs on Bring Up The Sun were recorded using cajon, no drums or cymbals.
Nick recalls his mom playing piano. By first grade, he took piano lessons too, though practicing wasn’t his thing. “I remember my whole family played bluegrass at the holidays. I was shy growing up; I didn’t try to sing much.” Eventually, guitar became his love.
Both athletes, Nick headed to Pikeville College for football, while Kris played basketball at Centre College in Danville.
English major Kris read Twain and Melville when not on the basketball court; Nick started strumming guitar in bars. When his favorite football coach, a fellow musician, left the school, he gave Nick a parting gift – a real passion for live music.
“He introduced me to the bar and pool hall scene in Johnson City. The musicians I met inspired me, I found myself writing music. My life took a new direction.” He’d play football on a Saturday afternoon, then head to an off-campus bar and play for four more hours.
After college, Nick contacted his old friend Kris about buying some drums. He didn’t have any to sell, but Kris offered to come play drums with Nick and another musician. They jammed all night, revived a friendship and drank a few cold ones; the next evening they played their first gig.
In August 2010, Nick moved to Lexington with Kris. The pair played patios while working for the cable company.
November brought a life-changing performance at Redmon’s, the Lexington live music bar venue. There they coined the name “Sundy Best,” honed their performance skills and wrote music, as their incredibly enthusiastic fan base began to materialize.
In the three years since, they’ve grown powerfully, defining their sound with solid lyrics and the powerful beats of throwback ‘70s rock influence. Now Sundy Best has a dedicated grassroots following from Lexington to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry and beyond.
They take pride in their original material. “I think we’re going to make the best music we possibly can, genuine music from where the heart is, and see where we go from there,” says Kris. “We’re childhood friends, we grew up together making music, we still do it, and, you know, we’re pretty down to earth.”
“Everything we’ve written is a true story,” adds Nick. “We are who we say we are. Our music is the real thing; it’s autobiography. We’re not trying to fit into a category or write the generic pickups-and-sweet-tea songs. Our music is real, it’s honest, and we’re trying to make something that’s relevant and influence others. “