Joey + Rory’s latest single, “Play The Song,” is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it’s a fun statement song from the frustrated gut of a talented songwriter. On the other hand, it was likely released because it is an up-tempo number, despite not being one of the best songs on the album.
Focusing on the bright side, however, the song does encapsulate one of the most endearing qualities of Joey + Rory: their utter fearlessness and honesty. It’s the same quality that set “Cheater, Cheater” apart from typical radio fare (“Loser, loser hope you love her cuz your stuck with her now / Take your sorry butt, load up all your stuff, and get the hell out of my house / But I just wish you’d tell me this one thing before you go / Cheater, cheater where’d you meet that no good, white trash ho?” Classic.).
“Play The Song” continues that candid, from-the-gut streak. It entreats corporate radio to simply play the song and “let the people decide if the music is right or it’s wrong.” It pushes back against the mindset of corporate radio that only a certain “type” of songs sells and therefore should be distributed to the mainstream audience. It also pushes back against—in a cheer-worthy line—the agonizing P.C. of country radio: “and it’s too bad, if you ask me / Our song’s gotta be so darn P.C. /so DAMN P.C.”
To be personally honest, I find the contrast between the duo’s radio releases and their sweet, straight-laced, corn-fed image fascinating. I’d love to sit down and have a tall beer with both of them and discuss the ins and outs of the Nashville music scene. I don’t cast my political vote based on that criteria, but I’m not above choosing my songwriters in that fashion. And I have no doubt the conversation would be completely frank and entertaining, just like this duo.
Songwriter: Rory Lee Feek
Listen: “Play The Song”