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Sweet Sunny South is an acoustic old-timey string band that plays a unique blend of new and traditional music.  Based in Paonia, Colorado, the band has been making a name for itself at festivals and theaters throughout the region for the past 8 years and received invitations to perform as an official showcase band for both the IBMA and The Folk Alliance in 2006.  The group was also featured as one of Colorado’s "Movers and Shakers" in Denver's Westword  Magazine in 2007 and were selected

the winners of the New Belgium Brewery's "What's your Folly?" contest after writing a jingle for the brewery.  Sweet Sunny South represents the traditional music of greats such as The Stanley Brothers and The Carter Family at the same time drawing influences from more contemporary bands such as The Freighthoppers, The Wilders and The Reeltime Travelers.


Banjo and mandolin player, Bill Powers, writes most of the bands’ songs, which take the listener on scenic journeys into dusty old American music.  Cory Obert plays a mean old-time fiddle, sometimes with a Cajun flare and sings a solid high tenor. Rob Miller also writes songs, plays the D-28 and sings lead and harmony.  Shelley Gray (a.k.a. “Laura Ingalls Wilder-n-Swingin”) plays the ‘ol kay Bass, sings, hollers, and puts the "Sweet" in Sweet Sunny South.


Audiences can expect a highly entertaining stage show featuring rollicking fiddle tunes, soulful ballads, tight vocal harmonies and an exceptional array of original songs combined with a heavy dose of humor that keeps the crowd smiling. They have recorded 4 unique and entertaining CDs which are receiving heavy airplay across the country.   Transport yourself back to the glory days of the Grand Ole Opry and experience Sweet Sunny South dressed to a "T", weaving in and out around a single microphone presenting their style of old time music you wont soon forget! 


“The world needs more music from this fine group”…..Tim O’Brien 2007


Bill Powers - Mandolin and Banjo

As the main songwriter in the group, Bill draws from his Mississippi upbringing.  Although he grew up around a variety of music, he didn’t start playing the guitar until college.  He was originally inspired by Jerry Garcia and playing Grateful Dead songs with his friends at UT, Austin.  After moving to Colorado, music became a bigger part of Bill’s life and resulted in a variety of bands including rock-n-roll, world-beat and finally, bluegrass.  It was around this time that Bill picked up a mandolin and Sweet Sunny South was born.  Bill’s unique style of songwriting helped shape the band and the addition of his plectrum banjo adds to the bands unique sound. 

2009 finds Bill busy with yet more musical projects.  His prolific songwriting has spurred him to start up 2 new bands.  As “Honey Don’t” Bill teams up with his wife, Shelley (Gray) and other great Colorado musicians to perform as an acoustic duo, trio or quartet.  “The Silvertone Devils” is an electrified band featuring drums, telecaster guitar and keyboards presenting Bills newer more country inspired songs as well as much loved covers.  Bill has also written and performed music for radio spots, movie scores, musical plays and advertising jingles.  He is currently compiling a songbook featuring many of the songs made popular by Sweet Sunny South.  You can learn more about Bills projects at

Rob Miller - guitar

Rob, the other songwriter in the group was born in New York and brought up on backseat country music.  He began playing the guitar around the time he was introduced to the jazzy style of David Grisman at Bill Grahm’s Music Festival in 1991.  He eventually returned to his country roots listening to and learning from Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, Stanley Brothers, Johnson Mountain Boys and later The Reeltime Travelers who brought the real “old-time” music to light.  Shortly after Sweet Sunny South dove head first into old-time music and Rob dove head first into songwriting, contributing a handful of new songs to the bands repertoire. 

Since leaving home in 1987 Rob has lived in New York, Colorado, New Mexico and California.  He now lives in Paonia, Colorado with his wife Rebecca and their 2 little girls, Sadie and Kayla.  A few years ago they started Pickin’ Productions where they bring national and regional bands to Paonia as well as producing 2 summer concert series in Ridgway and Paonia, CO.  When he’s not raising little girls or irrigating his farm, he’s busy acting as the booking agent for a handful of the best bluegrass outfits around the west.  Check out for more info on the concerts and bands. 

Cory Obert - fiddle

Cory grew up in California on country Rock-n-Roll including bands like The Flying Burrito Brothers, Poco, The Byrds, The Dillards and of course The Eagles. But it wasn’t until he heard the dark Cajun fiddle melodies performed by Michael Doucet that he was inspired to pick up the fiddle. After a few years of playing bluegrass style fiddle, Cory has come back to the Cajun feel he was first drawn to and settled into his own bluesy, raucus, old-time fiddle sound that has become synonymous with the bands sound. When he's not performing with Sweet Sunny South, he can also be heard playing music with his wife Andrea, in their fiddle/banjo duet "Hard Pressed" which you can check out at

Shelley Gray - Bass

With tap dancing as her main musical background, and only a few months of bass playing under her belt, Shelley was invited to join Sweet Sunny South in 2003.  Born in Minnesota, she grew up dancing and listening to Latin Jazz and the loungy sounds of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Henri Mancini and Sergio Mendez.  It wasn’t until she moved to Colorado in 1994 that she was introduced to bluegrass music and was instantly attracted to the bass.  Partners together for 15 years, Shelley & Bill (Powers) also have two sons, Jobim & Rowan.  Most recently this musical team has been putting their talents together on a variety of projects ranging from performing as an acoustic duo, recording jingles for businesses, bringing music to kids in schools and starting up an electrified country inspired rock band.  Learn more about these and other current projects at

For booking info contact Rob Miller 970-527-4791 or 970-260-6493