In much of music history, listeners would decipher their music solely through the sounds that would come from their radio and early music players. It was once one of the main forms of taking in information before giving way to television and all the later technologies that followed. It was the voices and instruments that took center stage and were subject to scrutiny – not someone's poor outfit of choice at some stupid awards show. What I am hinting at is the fact that talent was measured by the actual voices and general ability. Country music in particular has been one of the largest victims to this resulting in the country sound to being left out in the cold. There is a young artist hitting the Texas circuit by the name of Dustin Sonnier, that has one of the most country voices out there I have yet to hear.
Dustin Sonnier possess one of the best country voices out there. A refreshingly deep tone that harkens back to many of the country greats from the 70's and 80's. Seriously, you have to hear him sing to understand just how special his talent is. The beauty of all this is the choice he made to use it for good and create country music that any real fan can get behind. From a little ballad to some boot scootin honky tonkin' tune, he's got it covered.
You may just find yourself picking up a few Q-tips to make sure you are hearing things correctly when you fire up his EP Country. While this is just six songs, don't be fooled; there are some incredible songs here. Take the classic western swing, I Said I Loved You But I Lied. Not going to lie, Brad Paisley used to write songs like this and they are some of his best work. The song isn't somber instrumentally at all, yet he is able to convey his apologetic nature for having to call things off.
At this point, you are probably starting to understand Sonnier's respect for the country greats and the music that they made for decades. He chose to cover Conway Twitty's I See The Want To In Your Eyes which is a hell of a tribute if I've ever seen one. I challenge you to listen to both, one after the other. Dustin's voice fits a song like this so perfectly and the arrangement not only preserves the original style, but also brings it to have a contemporary feel. It doesn't feel dated but it's unmistakably a throwback to the days of yore.
I also measure how much I enjoy an artist by their ability to "light a fire in the bar." Can they get people on their feet, dancing and having a good time while out with their friends? You can check that box off here too. Take It From The Top is a certified dancehall dream that will have you singing right along. The guy in the bar feeling sorry for himself can't seem to find a women to pick-up and hear his tales of woe. Delivery on this song is superb with the steel guitar and tele hanging out in the background. I'm also a sucker for the jazzed up piano touches throughout which adds to that 90's country flair that this song does so well. Take It From The Top is not only a pleasure to listen to, but a song that he clearly enjoys playing and singing and with good reason.
Sonnier has a few other notable tunes which have really helped to put him on the map in the Texas scene. Whiskey Makes Her Miss Me is an incredible country song period. I don't care if you aren't into Texas country, this is a standout country song that deserves to be played on radio throughout the country. It's a somber song that has a no frills approach and lets the raw emotion shine through. Its beautifully written country music at it's finest.
People Like Me is a single he released this past fall along with a music video that's playful and an overall fun listen. A little too much whiskey here, and a few bad decisions there never hurt anyone. Maybe just other people's opinion of them, but they'll get over it. Dustin makes light of this and People Like Me makes for a countrified good time – just like all of his music.
Keep up with Dustin Sonnier on social media!
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Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
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