Hailing from Eastern Kentucky, Sundy Best makes honest music. They blend the sounds of 70’s rock with bluegrass and country into something uniquely their own. Comprised of Nick Jamerson on guitar and lead vocals, and Kris Bentley on cajon, the duo’s single “Until I Met You” can be heard in regular rotation on Sirius XM’s The Highway. Kris was gracious enough to take the time to chat with us about their current single, playing the Opry, and more.
You and Nick are childhood friends. Can you tell us how and when you both decided to pursue music professionally?
Music was prevalent in both of our childhoods. We always had a passion for it; you could say music was our first love. We weren’t sure we would be doing it at the capacity we are now, but we knew it would always be a part of our lives, whether it was a hobby or a profession.
You both went to college and were very active in sports [Nick played football at Pikeville College, while Kris played basketball at Centre College]. Did you study music in college?
No, we didn’t study music. I was an English major and Nick was a history major.
What types of music did you listen to growing up? Who are your influences?
I listened mostly to classic rock. I liked Bob Seger, The Eagles and The Allman Brothers. I also listened to Tom Petty and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Nick was more into bluegrass. We draw from all of those artists in our music; they are definitely our influences.
When did you start playing your instruments?
I was playing drums when I was eight or nine and Nick was singing at church from a very early age. He learned guitar in high school and I learned guitar in college.
What made you gravitate to the cajon? It is not an instrument you often see.
In 2010 when we started playing in a lot in restaurants, I realized there was no volume behind a drum set; you can’t turn it up or down. I saw the cajon in a You Tube video; I bought one and taught myself. The instrument really works with what we are doing. The cajon doesn’t sound forced; it’s very natural and organic, like our sound.
Talk about the name Sundy Best.
It really goes back to where we started, in church, and having to “put on our Sunday best.” But it’s also the way we talk “Sundy, Mondy, Tuesdy.”
Your single “Until I Met You” was a Highway Find on Sirius XM radio. Now it is in regular rotation. How did Sirius get the song and what does it mean to you to have them play it?
We met John Marks in Nashville last year and gave him the new cd. He really liked it and he made the decision to play the song.
Having our song on The Highway is a huge deal for us. For The Highway to take our song, play it and now have it in regular rotation is so cool! It will certainly help us grow our base and hopefully they will keep playing our songs.
The video for the song, which can be seen on CMT, is really fun. Have you made many videos or was this your first?
We have made a lot of videos actually. Being independent artists, videos are a big part of what we do. There is a guy we work with in Lexington who is extremely talented. His name is Coleman Saunders and he has done all of our videos, including the video for “Until I Met You.” The video is different from what we have done before and we really like the way it turned out.
In March, you released your new album, Bring Up the Sun. Talk about the album a little bit.
It is our second album and we wrote all of the fifteen songs that are on it. The artists I mentioned earlier, such as The Eagles, and The Allman Brothers, definitely influenced us in that regard [writing our own songs for the record]. It is important for us to continue to write our own material. We believe that as long as we can write our own music, and people dig it, we can do this for a long time. We want to make music that is relevant thirty years from now.
“I Wanna Go Home,” a track on the album, is an ode to your home state of Kentucky and in the liner notes of the album, you both specifically thank the state.
Our first album was even more Kentucky centric than Bring Up the Sun. We are very proud to be from Kentucky, where we still live, and this state is proud of us. We wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing without the people of that state’s support, especially those who helped us get started and spread the word about us.
In 2013, you played the Opry for the first time. How was that experience?
We played the Opry on November 13th . We have played there a total of four times now. The experience is just really hard to put into words. As kids, we watched and listened to the Opry. We never, ever imagined getting the opportunity to play there. To get an invitation to play there so early on in our career was really, really special. We will play there as much as we can, with our next visit being in the summer.
What are your plans for 2014?
We will be touring a lot. Last year we played almost two hundred dates and this year we will be playing pretty close to that too. We have been growing the music, doing more traveling and going to places we’ve never been. This year we will travel to New York, Baltimore, Texas and Colorado.
We will be playing at CMA Fest and attending the CMT Awards as well.
Is there one record that you are currently listening to on repeat?
I am late to the game on new music because we have been so busy writing. There are a few songs I really dig on Eric Church’s new record, like “Talladega,” and the Kings of Leon record never gets old to me.
For more information visit the Sundy Best official website
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You can watch the official video for "Until I Met You" below.