As I was traveling the 20 or so miles along Highway 80 between Hindman, Kentucky and the Prestonsburg exit of Highway 23. I was thinking about Sundy Best and all the other country acts I’ve photographed this year: Travis Tritt twice, Charlie Daniels, Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers twice and Elizabeth Cook.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a rock and roll guy, not much of a country music fan. Back in the day I listened to Hank Jr., some Kenny Rogers and I do consider myself a Garth Brooks fan (who isn’t?) but after being exposed to so much country music this year I’m slowly coming around. Don’t get me wrong I’m not about to throw out my rock music collection, but my mind is a bit more open than it used to be.
I was excited to be back at the MAC (photographed Tyler Childers here a few weeks ago). The reason for my excitement other than the quality music is the lights! I know, you’re saying the lights? As a photographer I get real excited over quality lighting at a venue and the MAC, in my opinion, is second to none with their lighting setup.
Putting aside my excitement over the lights, this night at the MAC belonged to Sundy Best and the Animal Alliance of East Kentucky. This show was a benefit concert for the Animal Alliance of East Kentucky, based in Paintsville, Kentucky just short drive from the MAC. AAEKY promotes the importance of spaying/neutering and campaigns for free/low cost spay/neuter opportunities. After a few comments from AAEKY president about the organization and what they do, it was time for some music.
This was a night full of surprises that included a dog (Ransom) wandering amongst the crowd and eventually up on stage, a toddler on stage had a song sung to her and Nick and Kris traded instruments, at least for the first part of the set. Nick Jamerson and Kristofer Bentley make up Sundy Best – a duo from right here in Prestonsburg. The last time I saw them in concert Nick was on guitar and Kris kept time on the cajón, but they switched things up for the first few songs.
Nick left the stage while Kris performed a few solo songs; he wasn’t alone on stage, his sidekick Ransom was close by. He sang several songs, but the highlight for me was a song he said he’d just recently wrote about his dog Ransom.
Nick came back for his turn at a few solo songs. Mid way through his set he began talking about his young niece, who was in the audience with Nick’s mother. He asked his mother to bring his little niece up on stage. He had recently written a song about her and it was great watching him sing it to her and her reaction to being on the stage and her uncle singing to her.
The big MAC crowd had enjoyed everything up to this point, but Sundy Best was about to kick it into another gear! Kris and yes Ransom came back to the stage, Kris sat down on his cajón and it was on! They played many of their biggest hits including Lily, Mountain Parkway and closed the show with my favorite of their songs I Wanna Go Home, although Mountain Parkway is right up there as a personal favorite.
This was a great night for the MAC and the Animal Alliance of East Kentucky, Sundy Best didn’t disappoint!
All photos by Tom Biggs at TRB Photography LLC
©2017. Please DO NOT copy or use without permission.