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Sunny South Blues Band tunes up downtown Gainesville
Local group to perform on New Year's Eve at Monkey Barrel
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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,