Sonny Smith is a native of San Francisco, but it wasn't until he moved to Gunnison, Colorado that he got started with music. While there he worked as a professional musician, playing blues piano in various bars. He moved to Denver and made a name for himself there, but before long headed to Costa Rica to work on an Organic Farm. While there, Smith began writing songs, plays and short stories in earnest.
In 1996 Sonny Smith returned to San Francisco, where he once again found work as a blues pianist. Before long Smith abandoned the piano and began performing his own unique long-form story songs. He continued to write short stories and plays, and even wrote & directed a film. He released a steady string of solo records throughout the early 2000s, and even toured in support of Neko Case. With the help of friends Shayde Sartin, Tim Cohen and Kelley Stoltz, started the band Sonny & the Sunsets in 2007.
Since then, The Sunsets have seen a cast of players pass through the ranks, but Smith's voice, snakey guitar and one-of-a-kind songs remain at the fore. The band recorded their debut LP, Tomorrow is Alright, in various apartments in the Mission District in 2007 and 2008. In early 2009, shortly after the release of the band's debut 7" single Love & Death, Sonny Smith completed a songwriting residency at Marin Headlands. Tomorrow is Alright was released by Soft Abuse & Secret Seven in autumn 2009.