For 18 years Sunny Ledfurd has traveled the country alongside artists such as Kid Rock, Colt Ford, Brantley Gilbert and Corey Smith. Now, he’s come home.
Raised in Cramerton, N.C., Ledfurd returned to his roots to play a show at The Fat Frogg Oct. 8.
Music has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember, Ledfurd said.
“There was a lot of great music when I was growing up, I can remember it since I was three,” he said. “It’s always been a part of me. I was in the womb listening to Seals and Crofts.”
Although he taught himself how to play guitar at a young age, it was the piano that first introduced Ledfurd to formal music education.
“I was playing piano since I was four,” he said. “I learned everything by ear. If I could hear it, I could play it.”
He was a natural. After learning the guitar, Ledfurd began writing music in middle school. He got good grades and became a gifted student and performer.
But he struggled with organized music groups in school, and became uninterested in formal education.
“Institutions teaching music is not right for me,” he said. “I don’t fit a mold, I never did.”
This did not stop Ledfurd from pursuing his passion. He was committed to writing his own music, even though he said “musicians in school got a bad rap.”
Despite this, reputation Ledfurd continues to write about his life in the South. He is known for singing about his good times, no matter how controversial they are.
“One thing I’ve always liked about rap and rock is people write their own stuff,” he said. “Not being in a mold doesn’t affect my music. I put on shows where everyone has a good time, gets drunk and raises hell, and I love it every time.”
Ledfurd’s attitude about fun and music makes him a vivid storyteller. With songs like “Adderall” and “Myrtle Beach,” he takes his audience through life in the South as he lives it and does not hold back.
With his popularity at small bars, honky-tonks and rodeo arenas, Ledfurd said he believes he has made it, based on his beliefs about success and achievement.
“The whole ‘made it’ idea is different for everyone,” he said. “For me, it’s that I can make music full time and not have to do anything else. I love what I do.”
With such passion and excitement about his career, Ledfurd makes every performance memorable. An enthusiastic crowd is all it takes for him to have a great show, he said.
“Every night is the best night,” Ledfurd said. “Everyone’s singing back to you, you’ve never met these people but they know the music you wrote and they sing along. It’s a great feeling.”
His commitment to his fans and their participation motivates him to give it his all. According to Ledfurd, he never “mails in a show.”
“It’s a term in music for when you go through the motions, when your heart isn’t in it,” he said. “But for me, it’s like every show is my last.”