Dustin Sonnier burst on to the radar of troves of country music fans in 2016, when his song “Whiskey Makes Her Miss Me” was heard well over a million times across several music outlets.
For a few months now, Sonnier has been teasing his follow up the his “Country” EP, which featured “Whiskey Makes Her Miss Me.” Now, the wait is over, and Sonnier is seeing the results.
His newly released album, “Between the Stones & Jones” debuted at number 4 on the iTunes country charts, and is receiving rave reviews from critics and fans alike to see how the Louisiana-based artist would follow up “Whiskey.”
Catch up with Sonnier after his last Pro Country interview, hear about all things “Between the Stones & Jones,” what he has in store for the future, and more!
Pro Country: You had great success with the “Country” EP. Was there any kind of pressure as you were putting together “Between the Stones and Jones” to achieve the same or greater success?
Dustin Sonnier: There’s always a pressure that comes with recording a new album. It’s gotta be bigger and better than the one before! We put a lot of heart and soul into this album, and I think this thing is gonna blow “Country” out of the water!
PC: “People Like Me” and “Drinkin’ Alone” were both released as singles before the album. Why did you decide to release those first? Did the success you found with those two songs give you an added validation as you were preparing to release the entire “Between the Stones and Jones” album?
DS: Honestly, we put those songs out while I was saving up money for finish the record (laughs). Being an independent artist, this whole operation is self-funded. So once we were done with the album, we just added those 2 songs as a bonus!
PC: “Between the Stones and Jones” debuted at number 4 on the iTunes country charts, ahead of some big name artists. As an independent artist, what did that achievement mean to you, and what did it tell you about the work you put into the album?
DS: I was expecting this record to have a great debut based on how my fanbase has grown in the last couple years, but to debut at #4, it blew my mind! I’m very thankful for all the family, friends & fans that have helped us make this record a success so far, and for the success that it will have in the future!
PC: “The Way She’s Looking” starts the album off with a strong 90s-country vibe. Why did you decide to kick off the album with that song?
DS: I wanted to start off the album with a fun song, and “The Way She’s Looking” is 🔥🔥 (laughs).
PC: “Between the Stones & Jones” is one of the standout tracks on the album. Why did you decide to name the album after that song?
DS: When we decided to record “Between the Stones & Jones,” the demo was just like a Rolling Stones song. I heard it more like a 90s country up-tempo song. Once we recorded it and put our sound on it, it just made sense. Our live shows are just that, somewhere between the Stones & Jones!
PC: “Missin’ You, Mississippi” has been a fan favorite for some time. Can you talk about the inspiration behind that song?
DS: I actually wrote that song with my good friend, Kevin Moon. He was coming down to LA to do a show with me, and he called me saying that he had an idea for a song because he was driving through Mississippi and inspiration hit! He told me the title, and I got to work! I ended up finishing the song before he got here, and we both fell in love with the song! It’s one of my favorites on this album.
PC: “Wake Me Up Tomorrow” is a song you wrote that was recorded by Brian Mallery two years ago. What was it about that song that stuck with you and drew you to record it for “Between the Stones and Jones”?
DS: I wrote “Wake Me Up Tomorrow” almost 5 years ago. I wrote it one day when things just weren’t going my way (laughs). I had Vern Gosdin in mind, and I think that’s why it came out so sad (laughs). My producer, Tony Ardoin, heard Brian Mallery’s cut on it, and said, “Man! Why aren’t we recording that one?” The next week, we were in the studio tracking it!
PC: “Slow Hand” is an interesting cover for the album, and is done very well. Can you talk about what went into the decision to cut the song for the album and to add the 90s-country vibe to the song?
DS: I’m a big Conway fan. That being said, we were looking for a cover tune for this record, and we tossed around several songs, like John Anderson’s “Just Came Home to Count the Memories,” Keith Whitley’s “Birmingham Turnaround,” and George Jones’ “I’ve Aged Twenty Years in Five.” “Slow Hand” just stood out to us because it hasn’t been done in 37 years, and it’s always a crowd pleaser!
PC: Do you have a favorite song on “Between the Stones and Jones”? If so, why is it so special to you?
DS: “Hankin’ ‘Bout You” is probably my favorite song on the album. It’s a waltz, and I’ve got a thing for waltzes. You don’t hear enough artists recording waltzes, and this song is lyrically and musically fantastic!
PC: What do you hope listeners take away from the “Between the Stones and Jones” album after listening all the way through?
DS: I hope people that hear this record will like it as much in 20 years as they do now! My goal is to make timeless music; music that never gets old!
PC: It’s been three years since you released the “Country” EP. Where do you think you have grown the most since the release of that EP? What did its success teach you about yourself?
DS: I’ve grown a lot in the last 3 yrs. I’ve done close 600 shows since then, and had some life changing events happen, and it’s made me a much stronger person, and really has made me focus more on songwriting. I’ve already got the follow up to “Between the Stones & Jones” written!
PC: Along with promoting “Between the Stones and Jones,” what are your plans for the rest of the year?
DS: I plan on touring off and on for the rest of the year, recording the next album and taking a little time to spend with the family!
*Images courtesy of Dustin Sonnier Facebook Page*