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Longtime Companion by Sonny & the Sunsets []



Step one after a break up is to write and record a country album. San Francisco native Sonny Smith has followed this guide, only he’s unexpectedly added a little bounce, shuffle and humor. I saw Sonny & the Sunsets on the Longtime Companion tour at Flywheel in Easthampton, MA and he played a number of songs from this record alongside his usual catchy, sometimes surfy, melodic fair. He also took off his pants.

Smith’s deadpan delivery over the groovy “I See the Void” had me sold on his version of country music. He and the Sunsets played a mini set of their hip take of twang with nods to Buck Owens, The Flying Burrito Brothers (the self-titled number takes me to that “Hot Burrito no. 2″ place with steady soul bass over a simple chord change) and even a little Beachwood Sparks.

For a record dealing with heartbreak and separation, Sonny & the Sunsets offer the listener an enjoyable experience and while forging new ground within a classic genre.

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