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Rising stars perform in Johnson City

By Kenneth Medley
On January 22, 2014

  • Atlanta Hawks all-star forward Josh Smith put on a show for the fans at ETSU. ETSU Bucs

The duo Sundy Best hailing from Eastern Kentucky once again graced the crowd of Johnson City over the Christmas break.
Strumming the guitar was Nick Jamerson and compelling the beat forward was Kris Bentley on the cajon, a sort of box instrument played by direct hits from the hands.
The band writes their own music and lyrics with a distinct mountain quality to them. Bentley and Jamerson, in classic mountain fashion, got their start while playing for patio parties and restaurants, then deciding they wanted to record an album.
Instead of grinding it out and trying to get discovered, they independently produced their first album in 2012, gaining fans and getting noticed by Entertainment One.
The duo has a hard time describing the genre that they fall into with influences from a broad spectrum, but one thing is for sure, they are from the mountains.
They have been friends since elementary school in Prestonsburg, Ky., but didn't start playing music until college. Bentley had success in basketball while in high school, Jamerson played football, which he continued in college.
Realizing he didn't want to play basketball forever, he began experimenting with music shortly after the group was formed.
Listening to the lyrics, you can clearly tell they are from the Appalachian Mountain region with an example being "tobacco hanging in the barn", which many folks in the area can relate to.
It was clear to see at the live show that this was apparent as many people were buying CDs and shirts before the band stepped foot on stage.
Once they did, the crowd was electrified from beginning to end.
In a 90-minute set, they played all the fans' favorites, some covers of their favorite '90s songs and some of their new songs that are on their album being released March 4 of this year.
One way that they have gained popularity is that they're independently produced music video for their song "Home" has been in the top five of "CMT's Pure" since its debut in early 2013. They show was top notch and they duo is really down to earth.
After a day traveling from Lexington, Ky., setting up, conducting sound checks and playing the set, the guys hung out with anybody who wanted to meet them. Signing autographs and having a few drinks with fans seemed to be all in a day's work for these up-and-coming singer-songwriters.
Jamerson, the lead singer, said, "My passion is singing, but singing the songs I write. If you're not doing that then you can't truly connect to the song and the audience knows that."
Watching them live, you can tell that they have lived the story they are telling through song.

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