Sonny Smith

That Sonny Smith of Sonny and the Sunsets would bridge music and theater is a matter of natural progression. Smith began his musical career at 18 playing Jimmy Yancy covers at mountain town clubs in Colorado before he ended up in Central America writing screenplays whose characters and plots eventually developed into songs. So, it makes sense that in 2005 the Watchword lit-mag would commission Smith to create a CD of plays as songs that would be performed on stage in a production called The Dangerous Stranger.

One Act Plays finally saw a proper vinyl release on May 8 on Secret Seven Records. Appearances by Edith Frost, Neko Case, Miranda July, Andy Cabic, Virgil Shaw, Mark Eitzel, John Dwyer, and others help bring bring to life the fictional vignettes depicted in the songs, “except for ‘Freaks In Space’ and ‘Honey Roy Rockwell,’” writes Smith. “Those two are the complete truth. The terrible truth.” Listen to the warbly album stand-out, “Eddie and Rita”:

Sonny and the Sunsets the band has a new LP coming out on Polyvinyl on June 26. Longtime Companion was written about his breakup with a girlfriend of ten years, and if this track, “Pretend You Love Me,” is any indication, expect a heartwrenching classic country follow-up to last year’s Hit After Hit:

Sonny’s band is also set to play the Huichica Music Festival June 1-2 in Sonoma, as well as the Pickathon Festival just outside of PDX August 3-5.