By Jack Latta
July 19, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The music careers of two Floyd County natives continue to blossom. eOne Music announced Thursday that they have signed the Prestonsburg duo Sundy Best to the agency’s growing roster.
Sundy Best has quickly become a staple of the Kentucky music scene only a few short years after its members graduated from college. Currently, Sundy Best is in the studio in Nashville recording their next release on eOne, planned for an early 2014 street date.
In a conversation with Times staff last Friday, Kris Bentley said work on the new album is going really well. “What we’re recording right now is for the new album. Hopefully, it will be out in January.”
According to officials with eOne Music, the company is planning an initial release of “Door Without A Screen: Deluxe Edition,” Tuesday, Aug. 27. The album has been anchored by the successful video “HOME (I Wanna Go),” which has garnered a number-one spot on Country Music Television’s fan-voted poll for multiple weeks, and made its debut Saturday, on the channel’s popular “Social Hour” program. The album is produced by Sundy Best, Nick Jamerson and Kris Bentley, and producer/filmmaker Coleman Saunders. The deluxe edition also includes fan favorite live tracks and demo versions recorded this year.
Bentley says that they are trying to enjoy their recent success and stay in the moment.
“It’s all happening so fast,” Bentley said. “We’re one year out from our headlining show at the Pikeville Expo Center. We’ve only been doing this for three years. It’s pretty crazy how this is happening so fast. We’ve been blessed.”
When asked how the duo’s music has captured the soul of Eastern Kentucky, while also appealing to people from different walks, Bentley says that the group just tries to write what they know.
“It’s home,” Bentley says of Eastern Kentucky. “(We) started out writing we wanted to write about what we know and have experienced.
Sundy Best’s music draws from all walks of life in Eastern Kentucky, and is easily relatable to both the coal miner or the elementary school teacher. The music reverberates with the universal elements of growing up in the mountains.
“It’s a big family,” Bentley says, adding that anytime the group is put into a position to be voted on, they are always winning, because of the support they are receiving from “home.” “We’re proud of where we’re from, and any way can we want to lift up the community and do anything we can for it. We take pride in that relationship we have with the family.”
“Playing music was something we love to do, but a career in it has always been a desire of ours,” says Kris Bentley. Strong fan support has put the duo on a southeast regional touring trek while the momentum has landed them on the eOne Records roster. With the strong sales of their independent release and a growing social media presence the duo have been increasingly attractive to different labels.
“After several meetings, we knew that eOne was the place we wanted to call home to our music,” explains Nick Jamerson. “We are who we are and we want to stay true to our roots, both musically and literally. Van Fletcher and the entire eOne team understand the music and more importantly, us. We are getting to work with some of the best in the business and that to us, is key.”
Entertainment One Nashville CEO Mike Olsen says that his company is an independent label which offers independence and freedom to its singers and songwriters. “When I heard Sundy Best and saw the huge crowd response, the sing-a-alongs, and record sales, I knew we would be remiss to not work with Nick and Kris. We welcome them to the label.”
Although they became an official duo a few years back, they have been friends since an early age. “There is more energy emoting from an acoustic guitar, a cajon and an engaging vocal capturing an audience like I haven’t seen in a long time,” says eOne vice president Van Fletcher. “Nick and Kris have a connection with each other that translates and captivates the listener. That is the magic that we look for in signing an artist.”
They are represented for concert booking by APA Talent & Literary Agency.
Sundy Best will next be in Eastern Kentucky, Aug. 23, in Morehead for a show at Buffalo Wild Wings. The group will then be in Louisa, Sept. 7, at Septemberfest. The group will also be putting on a show Aug. 31 in Nashville, before kickoff of the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky Football game. That show will be held at the Wildhorse Saloon.
For more information about Sundy Best and their planned shows, visit their website at www.sundybest.net.