Sweet Sunny South will bring its blend of traditional and contemporary bluegrass to the Jefferson State Pub. - Sweet Sunny South

Sweet old sounds

If you go to a Sweet Sunny South concert, don't be surprised if you think you've stepped back in time. The group dresses in clothing reminiscent of a bygone era and uses a single microphone when performing.

Why the nostalgic touch? Sweet Sunny South is an acoustic old-time bluegrass band that plays a blend of new and traditional music. They escort listeners down a winding path of historical journeys, beautiful ballads and rollicking fiddle tunes complete with a healthy dose of humor.

The Colorado-based band starting at 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 20, at Jefferson State Pub, 31B Water St., Ashland. The quartet has performed throughout the West for the past six years.

Sweet Sunny South has shared the stage with David Grisman and Del McCourey and was selected as an "Official Showcase Band" in the 2006 IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Awards. They have recorded four CDs of mostly original material. The band's fourth CD, "Showtime," was released last month.

Banjo and mandolin player Bill Powers writes most of the band's songs. Cory Obert plays old-time fiddle, sometimes with a Cajun flair, and sings a high tenor. Rob Miller also writes songs, plays the Martin D-28 guitar and sings lead and harmony. The newest member, Shelley Gray (aka "Laura Ingalls Wilder-n-Swingin") plays a Kay bass, sings, hollers, and puts the "sweet" in Sweet Sunny South.

If you had to categorize Sweet Sunny South, they are in the tradition of folks like The Stanley Brothers and The Carter Family. And if you had to trace their influences, you can hear more contemporary sounds reminiscent of The Freighthoppers, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, The Wilders and The Reeltime Travelers.

Cover is $8. Call 482-7718.

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