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Joey & Rory
The Life Of A Song
Vanguard Records
www.joeyandrory.com


The husband and wife team of Joey and Rory Feek lead the pack in romantically imbued country. The duo's latest release The Life Of A Song from Vanguard Records has a complementing repertoire of country-bluegrass tunage moving from the lilting pitter-patter of the title track to the honky tonk rustling of "Cheater Cheater." It's an album that you can leave in the glove compartment of your car and know that when you put it in your CD player, it will put you in a good mood even as the traffic on the road makes you want to turn around and stay locked in your house.

The saloon style in the country swagger of "Play The Song" is laden with catchy hooks and sing-along lyrics that listeners can apply to there own lives in multiple ways as Rory vents, "Feeling more than a little frustrated by the music industry's over-analyzing of songs and singers… Anyway, I get tired of hearing that a song is too country or too serious or whatever / Hey, somebody just play the dang song / Let's stop guessing what people want to hear / And letting it effect what we write or record / And let them make up their own minds / I bet we'll all be surprised by what we find out."

The soothing swells of "Sweet Emmylou," which makes reference to the dulcet sounds of singer-songwriter Emmylou Harris, penetrate the sore spots in the soul and transition into the wispy acoustics of "Rodeo" which leans on the heartbreak end of the romantic country spectrum. These tracks are counterbalanced by the bright visage of "Love The Hell (Out Of Him)" and the stomping bluegrass-tinged beats of "Tune Of A Twenty Dollar Bill" which preen dancing fiddles and the twinkling twang of the lap steel guitar and dobro. The pair performs a reposing rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird" that does the song justice, and the tuneful chugging of "Boots" persuades listeners that a set of boots is exactly what has been missing from their lives.

You don't have to be a fan of country music to like The Life Of A Song, you just need to be a fan of catchy melodic tunes that have real life meaning behind the lyrics. It just happens to be that Joey & Rory package their music in country-based tunage with bluegrass fringes, and it suits them.

-Susan Frances

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