Sunny South Blues Band
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Sunny South Blues Band

Gainesville, Georgia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013

Gainesville, Georgia, United States
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Blues Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Sunny South Blues Band Wins Athens's Unsigned"

The history behind Athens’s modern music scene is as rich and diverse, as countless musicians have graced its eclectic and intimate venues throughout the years. Athens has always had talented musicians, with downtown being the primary spring-board for local acts to experiment and showcase their inventiveness. But in a town saturated with blues, folk and indie startups all drawing on the musical heritage of the city and the region, Sunny South Blues Band has carved out a name for themselves by creating music that is part of a recent Southern rock revival. Hailing from the nearby city of Gainesville, Ga, where they’re already well established in the local music scene, SSBB has steadily gained an impressive following since their start in 2013. While playing shows all across Northeast Georgia, the band has since caught a notable slice of Athens’s attention, winning the Unsigned Battle of the Bands at Livewire back in March.

On an invitation to drop in on one of their weekday practices, an hour outside of Athens on an expansive 28-acre farm in Lula, Ga, I spent an easy two hours with SSBB, discussing everything from football legend Billy Bennett to Bob Dylan. As we talked recent shows and mutual artistic interests, the band’s extraordinary passion for music was obvious, and their respective influences to the overall SSBB sounds became evident.

SSBB is comprised of guitarist and vocalist Cliff McIntire, whose voice is tinged with the trademark somberness of Southern blues. The band’s distinctive rhythm is hammered out by bassist, and brother of Cliff, Ross McIntire and drummer Matt Hulsey. Together, Ross and Matt create a musical cohesiveness that is unique in Athens’s current downtown scene. Lead guitarist Aaron Metzdorf picks and strums effortlessly, and though he is not a blood relation, these guys are, in the most important sense of the word, family. Better still, they are a talented family that creatively influences one another.

Before Aaron Metzdorf joined SSBB, he played covers of The Smiths and Mac DeMarco, but when the position for lead guitar opened up for SSBB, he seized the opportunity as a former-fan-turned-member. Metzdorf’s deep well of musical knowledge allowed the band to experiment further, taking techniques from as many different sounds as possible. The band’s ideal is to serve the song as best as they can, conveying emotion not only their lyrics, but in the style they choose to play.

SSBB attributes their style to the music they were raised on, paying tasteful homage to the distinctive influences of the late 60’s and 70’s. Cliff and Ross greatly impacted each others musical preferences as kids, as whatever Cliff was listening to, Ross would be forced to listen to. They developed a mutual love for music that has been a continual source of inspiration for their joint creative process.

The “family dynamic” of SSBB has also worked well for the band in that it leaves little room for conflicts of ego, and a commitment to patience and compromise are undoubtedly why they have been able to get along so well. An individual member of the band may come up with an original idea, but the rest of the crew works collaboratively to turn that idea into a song. The guys in SSBB are aware of their respective strengths and weaknesses, using their differences to bring harmony to their work.

While being pressed for both time and money, the guys recorded their first self-titled album in two days at Nashville’s Bomb Shelter back in March of 2015. Eight of those nine songs were recorded in 11 takes, with most of them being the first recording. These guys didn’t have a lot of time in the studio, but they made that time count. In a town spoiled with talent, these guys deliver, backed by the steadfast determination required to make it here as a musician.

Of the nine songs on the album, each song is charismatic in its own way -- demonstrating their ability to diversify their sound. The guys cover Dylan’s 1975 deep cut, “Meet Me in The Morning,” and turn it into something completely their own. Cover songs can be a bit daunting, but SSBB has executed this one in such a way where the arrangement reflects their proclivity for a heavier sound, while still embodying the legendary folk and blues spirit of Dylan.

Their most praiseworthy tune, “Unnatural Child,” is a melodious undertaking with impressive bass riffs and guitar solos. This song stands alone as the perfect representation of SSBB’s remarkable talent, flaunting Metzdorf’s ability as lead guitarist. In both “Unnatural Child” and “Run Fer Yer Life," Metzdorf uses a binson echorec to create an almost mournful, reverberating sound that found its peak in the 60’s.

SSBB’s last song on the album, “Oh! Nicole!," is a stark contrast to the others, reminiscent of an Alabama Shakes’ tune: upbeat, gutsy, and unmistakably Southern. Naturally, I was eager to ask the band about the inspiration behind the lyrics. “Oh! Nicole!” is written entirely from the perspective of an anonymous friend, an exercise in viewing the world from a different set of eyes. T.S. Eliot put it best when he described writing as an escape from one’s personality, and “Oh! Nicole!” is a perfect example of just that. The lyrics aren’t dehumanizing some girl named Nicole, they’re a little more deliberate than that. I was impressed with SSBB’s ability to write songs not limited to their own perspective, an art applicable to the struggle of both songwriter and poet.

In an era where bands rely on self-promotion to widen their pool of fans, Sunny South Blues Band respects the virtue of a great live performance where talent speaks (or sings?) for itself. These guys are every bit humble as they are talented, and pushing people to attend their shows via social media is not exactly their style. Instead, they have gained their following through word of mouth, with a steady fan base traveling to each show.

At one point during the interview, I mentioned My Morning Jacket’s cover of Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up,” and Sunny South Blues Band promptly cranked out their own rendition for me. Afterwards, they played a relatively newer and unreleased song, “Do You Even Know My Name?," a heart-wrenching trip that easily became my favorite song of theirs. It was funky, tight, fast-paced and yet still melodic, nothing short of what I would expect from these guys. Sunny South Blues Band does not seem to be the type of group who pushes out one fantastic album, then plummets shortly thereafter like so many forgotten bands. They are the kind of group who continue to test their own limits and build on their previous work.

Do yourself a favor and go listen to their album via Spotify or Bandcamp, or better yet -- catch one of their upcoming live performances. Their next show is Tuesday, June 14 at Smith’s Olde Bar in the heart of Atlanta, and they’ll be back at Livewire again this summer for our celebrated AthFest. - The Odyssey

"Sunny South Blues Band proves that a great classical rock band can still be found"

With a loud entrance and a member wearing a shirt saying “Kill the Kardashians," Sunny South Blues Band ended the first day of AthFest at Live Wire Athens with a remarkable performance.

With a distinct old rock sound, the band seemed to play with an intensity and loudness that seemed to deafen. But after its first song, the band played “Something ‘bout a Woman,” which showcased its soft rock and bluesy sound. A song with a naturally rhythmic and swaying sound, it seemed to transform the energy in the room.

The group looked at home on the stage with a presence that was undeterred by the lack of crowd at the venue. Seemingly moving from one song to another, Sunny South Blues Band played with ease that emphasized its instrumental talent as well as the vocal forte of the lead singer.

Though at times the show felt rambunctious without purpose through the screeching sounds of the guitars mixed with the fast-flashing disco lights, Sunny South Blues Band still put on a terrific show that showed how its creative genius derives from its lyrics. - Red & Black

"Sunny South Blues Band tunes up downtown Gainesville"

Some families can’t stand to work together. But a pair of brothers, their cousin and a friend work together in harmony as part of the Sunny South Blues Band, which is set to perform a New Year’s Eve show in downtown Gainesville.

The band — including brothers Cliff and Ross McIntire, first cousin Matt Hulsey and friend Aaron “Beans” Metzdorf — will play for free at 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, at the Monkey Barrel, 115 Washington St. NE, in Gainesville.

“We like to keep it really high energy,” said Cliff McIntire. “We really like to have a good time.”

He hopes many residents will head downtown to join the band for the good times he has promised.

“We always try to do interesting, fun songs, something that you can sing-a-long to, and have a good time listening to,” McIntire said.

The band’s sound is classified as Southern blues rock revival, but its roots are “deep-seated in the blues,” Cliff McIntire said.

The band’s family roots as well as the name also run deep.

In the 1900s, a distant relative of the McIntires and two others had a band called Sunny South Orchestra.

“Our families are huge into music,” McIntire said. “They had all Army-issued instruments.”

The instruments included a tuba and bass. But that was a long time ago, and the new Sunny South Blues Band — formed in 2012 — has a different feel from their namesake.

“We brought the name back to life,” McIntire said. “We love doing blues music, but in the 21st century, so we try and amp it up. We play loud electric guitars, so it’s different than traditional blues music, but it’s also rooted in that very blues-y style.”

Picking, plucking and banging out the sounds are: Cliff McIntire, 25, on guitar and vocals; Ross McIntire, 30, on bass and vocals; Hulsey, 26, on the drums; and newest addition Metzdorf, 21, on guitar.

Both McIntire men live in Clermont, while Hulsey and Metzdorf are from Gainesville.

“We try to do a mix of cover songs, and original songs,” Cliff McIntire said. “We play 10 or 11 of our own songs.”

The band will play these songs for 2 to 2 ½ hours on New Year’s Eve.

McIntire and the rest of the band recently finished independently recording their self-titled debut album.

“It’s easier to record. When you’re out there, you have to make it believable, the people have to believe what you’re saying,” Cliff McIntire said.

Each helped write, produce and record the album, which came out Oct. 6. It can be purchased on iTunes or anywhere you can buy or stream music online.

For more information on the band, visit the band’s Facebook page, - Gainesville Times


Still working on that hot first release.



The idea behind SSBB began with a family band that goes back to the early 1900s with the Sunny South Orchestra, a brass band that played with army issued instruments. The project went dormant for the remainder of the 20th century until the brothers McIntire, Ross and Cliff, began playing with friends around Clermont, GA including the monstrous drummer Matt Hulsey, a close cousin of the McIntire brothers. The group bonded early over their mutual love of the blues revival of the 1960s thus giving the band the “Blues Band” moniker at the end of the Sunny South family band name. The final lineup came together with the addition of Aaron “Beans” Metzdorf in 2014. With the indubitable family ties and Metzdorf’s Southern soul and surf rock sensibilities, SSBB became what we know them as today, a thunderous adaptation of blues-based garage rock with a tinge of 60’s popular music.

With a myriad of influences and a portfolio of fresh, original music SSBB made for Nashville, TN and famed Bomb Shelter Studios to record their debut album. With guidance from Bootin’ Billy Bennett (The Whigs, MGMT), the resulting 9 song LP is a Velcro-fuzzed, reverb-soaked rock n’ roll exploratory expedition. With songs ranging from riff-rock perfection in album opener DBL to the Muscle Shoals-inspired Something ‘bout a Woman, to their soaring cover of the 1975 Bob Dylan deep cut Meet Me in the Morning, SSBB has crafted a debut that is both introspective in its subject matter and unyielding in its execution.

SSBB began by delivering electric live shows to its small, yet devoted fan base and has, to date, yet to let off the gas. With an array of crowd-pleasing rock n’ roll that satisfies even the harshest of music fans, SSBB serves heaping helpings of dirty guitars, mumble-sang vocals, and a rhythm section that rivals even the finest Swiss watchmakers. SSBB is playing music that harkens back to the days of old, when music meant something other than a paycheck or self-righteous self pity, days when musicians were forging the names that we still speak of today and much like these unforgettable effigies SSBB is here to stay.



The band currently resides in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains, playing shows all across the state. They hold tight to a road ready attitude and a solid sleep schedule.


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