OFFSTAGE: Sunny Sweeney: No Butterflies and Dandelions

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

If you don’t know about Sunny Sweeney yet, just wait. She is one of the most genuine singers to come along in country music in a very long time. But, you know, she’s a girl. So the tendency might have been to give her new album a really girly-girl name. Not this girl, though. “I didn’t want something like butterflies and dandelions, something real soft,” Sweeney told Billboard. “I wanted a strong word. Then I started thinking, ’Concrete is actually used to build a foundation.'” So that’s how the name of the album came to be. It’s also how I think of Sweeney after living with the music for a couple weeks — solid, cool and tough. She is the kind of girl who boldly admits she watches trashy TV. You can tell she’s from East Texas the minute she opens her sassy mouth. She has more tattoos than any girl I know. (And because she’s just a good person, she helped me through my own bad tattoo experience.) So I have to agree with her that Concrete is a better album name for her than anything feminine and pretty and soft. Must-downloads include: “Drink Myself Single,” “Mean as You,” and her current hit, “Staying’s Worse Than Leaving.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.