Since 2010, Sundy Best have been gathering fans around their signature floor-drum rhythms. But with the release of their third album, Salvation City, the Kentucky natives are proving their worth without the instrument.
Mixing homespun lyrics and classic country instruments, their new music video for “Southern Boy” makes that pretty clear. And as you can see, the cajon is gone … but not forgotten.
“The cajon has been integral to what we do, but we’re growing naturally,” said percussionist Kris Bentley. “We’ll always be who we are with the cajon and guitar, but there’s some new things on this record.”
“We’ll always feel like we have something to prove,” says singer Nick Jamerson. “But it’s music. There’s no winner or anything. We just go out there wanting to prove that we’re legit songwriters.”
Sundy Best served as CMT’s Listen Up artists in November and used the platform to tape some of those new things — like “Shotgun Lady,” which finds the usually-serious songwriters loosening up their approach.
There’s still plenty of time for self-reflection, though — the patient “Distance,” for example. Bentley says he wrote the song four years ago about their excitement to tour and attempts to reassure loved ones. Now, after countless miles and nights away from home, the song carries a much different weight. And that’s something to be proud of for a young band coming of age.
“I think we’re really comfortable with who we are now,” said Bentley. “In time, you figure out more about these songs, and they resonate more. That’s a song I can relate to and appreciate more now. And that’s crazy.”
Find out more about the band with this exclusive CMT Listen Up interview.